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July 10, 2011

F-35 program expected to grow in area

NORMAN — Lockheed Martin showcased its F-35 Lightning II mobile cockpit demonstrator earlier in the week to employees, state and local elected officials, other stakeholders and the news media at Pro-Fab Inc., a local supplier for the F-35 program in Oklahoma City.

 “We’re pleased to demonstrate the capabilities of the F-35 Lightning II, the world’s most advanced military aircraft, to our Oklahoma supplier companies and other local stakeholders,” said Daniel P. Conroy, director, USAF F-35 Program, Lockheed Martin Washington Operations. “These suppliers and stakeholders are vital to the F-35 program so it’s important that they have an opportunity to experience, firsthand, this 5th Generation, multirole fighter’s superior performance capabilities. Additionally, the F-35 program will significantly impact the U.S. economy, directly and indirectly generating over 127,000 jobs.”

Ryan Russo, aerospace program manager at Pro-Fab, Inc., said the F-35 depends on more than 130 airframe components and assemblies produced by his company.

“Having the flight demonstrator on-site provides a great interactive experience for our employees, community leaders and elected officials to gain a better understanding of F-35 platform capabilities as well as the opportunity to become more familiar with the program as a whole,” Russo said. 

Currently, the F-35 program provides over 400 direct and indirect jobs for Oklahoma and more than $30 million in economic impact across the state. These employment figures and economic impact numbers are anticipated to increase as the program reaches full-rate production.

During Thursday’s event, attendees received an update on the status of the program and had the opportunity to “fly” the F-35 cockpit demonstrator and experience how advanced stealth, fighter agility and integrated information make the F-35 the most capable multirole fighter in the world.   

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