F-35 contractor Lockheed Martin has been experiencing the same constraints on its budget as others in the industry. March 8, Lockheed Martin issued the following statement regarding sequestration uncertainty:
“We deeply regret the effect that sequestration is having on our dedicated and hard-working employees. For more than 100 years, our highly talented people have designed and built state-of-the art systems that deliver next generation technology vital to our nation’s security and to the world.
“While we await more specific direction from our government customers, we are concerned with the lack of progress toward a solution to reverse the negative impacts of sequestration. We continue to assess the likely impact that sequestration will have on our programs and have taken steps to manage its effect on our employees and our business.
“However, while we understand that the impacts are likely to play out over a period of time, we continue to believe that sequestration will lead to furlough in some situations and could trigger layoffs resulting in WARN notices to thousands of our current employees.
“This is a very difficult time for our employees and their families, and the thousands of supplier companies that we depend on to support our customers’ mission.
“The fiscal impasse continues to greatly complicate our ability to plan, make necessary capital investments, and recruit and hire the next generation of science and engineering talent. We urge our elected leaders to make it a priority to reverse sequestration before it causes more serious damage and find a more workable and permanent solution to the fiscal challenges our nation faces.”
Regarding the cost of the F-35, Orlando Carvalho, Lockheed Martin executive vice president of Aeronautics, wrote the following March 18 in a letter to the editor of the New York Times:
“And the cost of the F-35 is decreasing; since the first production jet was delivered in 2011, the cost per unit has been cut in half.’