New fighter jet manufacturing site opens in Johnstown

Local News

The F-35 Lightning II uses the latest in stealth technology. Now, the fighter jets used by the U.S. military will be manufactured in Johnstown.

Wednesday morning, a ribbon-cutting ceremony was held for the new Lockheed Martin Aeroparts, Inc. manufacturing site in Richland Township. The $2,000,000 facility will bring in more than 50 local jobs.

“We know that we need this kind of aircraft to be able to win a lot of the battles we’ll be fighting in the future,” said U.S. Senator Bob Casey.

Sen. Casey tested his skills in the cockpit: trying out an F-35 flight simulator.

“It was humbling, but also interesting to be able to see it up close,” said Sen. Casey.

In order to meet the growing demand for the F-35 fighter jets nationwide, Lockheed Martin employees said they’re getting ready for the ramp-up in production at the new Johnstown site.

“This opens a lot of other doors for other F-35 work to be also transitioned here,” said Thomas Carrubba, the vice president of F-35 production operations for Lockheed Martin.

At the new site, workers will apply finishing touches and paint jet parts before they’re shipped down to Texas for final assembly. This site will also help the company nearly double its production to 160 jets a year by 2023.

“If the people of this city and the people of this county are given a chance and have a level playing field, they can out-work, out-invent, out-compete any workers in the world,” said Sen. Casey.

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