The Bethesda, Md.-based firm (NYSE: LMT) landed the U.S. Navy contract for Lot 9 order of the F-35 Lightening II Joint Strike Fighter. While most of the work will take place in Fort Worth, Texas, some also will take place in Orlando and other parts of the country. Missiles & Fire Control in west Orlando handles the development of the F-35's Electro-Optical Targeting System, which supports 1,300 local jobs.
Lockheed Martin's F-35 program often snatches up big contracts, and more are expected to come. Lockheed Martin won a $1.3 billion contract on April 28 that serves as the foundation for various aircraft orders from the U.S. Department of Defense. The Lot 9 orders joins other F-35 orders like Lot 12, 13, and 14. Work for those contracts is described as low-rate production for more than 200 aircraft.
The increased production demand may lead to Lockheed Martin hiring more workers later this year, too. "When we get to full-rate production, we'll probably be delivering roughly 200 aircraft a year," Marillyn Hewson, CEO of Lockheed Martin, said during an earnings report in May.
Military contracts contribute to the local economy in the form of jobs and subcontractor opportunities, and Central Florida is a major player when it comes to defense contracts. The region snags about $4 billion in government contracts each year because the nation’s Army, Air Force, Navy and Marines simulation operations are based in Central Florida Research Park. That work helps make Orlando the modeling, simulation and training capital of the world, according to the Orlando Economic Development Commission.
Source: Orlando Sentinel