WASHINGTON, (BM) – The coronavirus COVID-19, which has been rampant throughout 2020, is causing daily damage to the world economy. The American company Lockheed Martin can not help but be affected by this action of the virus, as the complete restart of the production process in the production of F-35 Lightning II was again postponed, learned BulgarianMilitary.com.
The news was confirmed both by the US Department of Defense, which decided to postpone the production again, and by a number of American and international media. The main reason for postponing production is the lack of quality staff who are not affected by the coronavirus or who have been cured by it.
One of the main problems is the inability to restart the simulator tests of the fighters. Such tests have been postponed many times over the past 12 months, but earlier this year the Pentagon hoped to launch scheduled and regular tests, but the epidemic changed both Lockheed Martin’s management and the production process itself. One of the latest delays is actually due to detected delays in launching the air jet in a simulated environment, which aim to prepare pilots for possible air attacks during a real combat mission.
These tests are under the auspices of the Joint Strike Fighter program, which actually started back in 2012. From then until today, this program has experienced various difficulties and faces a number of problems. Lockheed Martin first tried to make new designs for the three F-35 models, but it took the designers three years. Then came problems with difficult solutions related to reducing the weight of the fighters, which also took quite a long time. And as this decade drew to a close, Lockheed Martin found it increasingly difficult to solve other problems, such as open parallelism and more. Thus came 2020, which surprised the world with the coronavirus and put at stake the existence of thousands of companies in the defense industry, including Lockheed Martin.
Currently, Lockheed Martin’s plants are producing fighter jets, but the so-called a “low level” that cannot meet global and domestic market needs, although at least 134 aircraft leave production facilities each year – some with delays, others not. If the Joint Strike Fighter Milestone C program succeeds in entering the planned schedule, the company will produce 160-170 per year, but at the moment in the conditions of an epidemic the management of Lockheed Martin is wondering whether it is necessary to try to restart the program.
The coronavirus is ‘slowly killing’ the planned deliveries of F-35s for 2020
The American defense corporation Lockheed Martin will increase the pace of production of fifth-generation F-35 fighters from May 23, but will not be able to deliver this year from 18 to 24 aircraft out of 141 planned, BulgarianMilitary.com reported in May this year. According to the news agency “Defense News”, because of connection with the pandemic of the new coronavirus, the production of parts and components was complicated, as a result, the company had to reduce production for the next three months.
According to the publication, representatives of Lockheed Martin for the first time notified customers of possible delays in deliveries on April 21. “If we have the opportunity to accelerate or restore the pace [of production], we will do it. If there is progress, a clear picture of where we will be in late summer or early autumn will appear,” the company’s vice president for F-35 program by Greg Ulmer said in a statement.
Since May 23, the corporation will divide 2,500 people into three groups at a factory in Texas. Each of them will work for 14 days with a week of rest. After the first rotation, a decision will be made on making adjustments or extending the amended schedule until September 4.
Recall, in late April, the company said that the coronavirus had a serious impact on the aviation business of the American military-industrial corporation Lockheed Martin. Production of F-35 fighters was at risk of disruption in schedule and supply disruption.
Obama: Trump’s response to the coronavirus crisis is an absolutely chaotic disaster
Former US President Barack Obama sharply criticized the Trump administration’s response to the coronavirus crisis, calling it an “absolutely chaotic disaster,” CNN reported in May this year. Such a statement, as noted in the article, he made during a private telephone conversation with people who worked with him in the White House.
This tough comment, validated by three former Obama administration officials, has so far been his harshest assessment of how President Trump and his team are dealing with a deadly pandemic.
In a half-hour conversation with his former subordinates, the former US president noted that Washington’s reaction to the outbreak of coronavirus was an important reminder of why the government needed strong leadership during global crises. Thus, as CNN emphasizes, Obama tried to convince former members of his team to participate more actively in the election campaign of US presidential candidate Democrats Joe Biden.
“The upcoming elections are extremely important at all levels, since we will not fight with a specific person or political party. We are fighting against long-term trends in which selfishness, belonging to a particular group, split and attitude towards others as enemies became a more powerful impulse in American life,” Obama said.
Meanwhile, White House spokeswoman Kaylee Mackenani responded to Obama’s statement, saying, “President Trump’s response to coronavirus was unprecedented and saved the lives of Americans.”
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