The monthly reports published by Lockheed Martin claim that the economic impact of the F-35 increased by up to 30% between March (left) and May (right).
PARIS --- The economic impact of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program has increased by 15% to 30% between March and May 2020, according to monthly reports published by the company.
The claimed increases concern the number of “top-tier suppliers” involved in the program (+30%), the number of jobs it supports in the US (+15%), and its total economic impact (+10%), which appear improbable in just two months. Furthermore, the two months in question coincide with the COVID-19 pandemic, which substantially limited industrial activities throughout the United States.
Lockheed did not respond to e-mail questions made outside of office hours.
These figures are published in the two-page “F-35 Lightning II Program Status and Fast Facts” that the company regularly posts on its dedicated F-35 website, at www.F35.com. The March and May monthly reports are no longer available, and have been replaced by the current version
, dated June 1. This version reproduces the same “Economic impact” figures as the May 1 report.
On May 1, Lockheed reported without any explanation that the number had increased to “1,900+ top-tier suppliers around the globe, including more than 1,800 U.S. and Puerto Rico-based suppliers.”
This is an increase of about 30% compared to its March 3 report, which said that “1,500+ top-tier suppliers around the globe, including more than 1,400 U.S. and Puerto Rico-based suppliers” are involved in the F-35 program.
The same reports also state that the number of “direct and indirect jobs supported in the US” had increased from “over 220,000” in March to “over 254,000” by May 1, an increase of over 15% in two months.
Furthermore, Lockheed reported in March that these jobs were located in “45 U.S. states and Puerto Rico,” but by May 1 this had increased to “48 states and Puerto Rico,” adding three unidentified states to the F-35 industrial base.
And, while the company claimed in March that the program had “over $44.2 billion of total economic impact,” this had increased to “over $49 billion to total economic impact in the US” alone – an increase of $5 billion, or over 10%, in two months.