Canada announced it is procuring 88 F-35 Lightening II aircraft from Lockheed Martin as a result of its Future Fighter Capability competition.
In the announcement of the outcome on January 9, the Canadian government stated, “On January 9, the Government of Canada confirmed that Canada will be procuring the F-35A advanced fighter aircraft. This represents the most significant investment in the Royal Canadian Air Force in more than 30 years.”
The Royal Canadian Air Force will acquire 88 F-35A multirole stealth fighters under the procurement arrangement.
“Canada is our friend and a close ally. Their decision to procure almost 90 jets underscores the value of the incredible F-35 Lightning II,” said U.S. Air Force Lt. Gen. Mike Schmidt, program executive officer, F-35 Joint Program Office, quoted in the Lockheed Martin news release. “The F-35 is the best in the world, providing unmatched interoperability to America, Canada and the additional 15 nations that have selected the fighter. It is a global game-changer. Through power-projection, the F-35 is at the tip of the spear for deterrence. Its forward presence will continue to ensure that potential adversaries choose diplomacy over armed conflict.”
“We are honored the Government of Canada has selected the F-35, and we look forward to continuing our partnership with the Royal Canadian Air Force and the Canadian defence industry to deliver and sustain the aircraft,” said Bridget Lauderdale, Lockheed Martin’s vice president and general manager of the F-35 program. “The selection of F-35 strengthens allied airpower in Canada, North America and around the world.”
“Together with our Canadian industry partners, we are honoured by this selection and the sustainment of critical jobs that will continue to equip Canadian workforces with advanced skills,” said Lorraine Ben, chief executive, Lockheed Martin Canada. “The F-35 program yields tremendous economic benefits for Canada’s aerospace and defence industry, and we look forward to continued growth.”
According to the Lockheed Martin press release:
To date, the F-35 operates from 27 bases worldwide, with nine nations operating F-35s on their home soil. There are more than 890 F-35s in service today, with more than 1,870 pilots and 13,500 maintainers trained on the aircraft.
Lockheed Martin and Cobb County
The Lockheed Martin facility in Marietta has been a major employer in Cobb County since 1951, when the Lockheed Corporation, a predecessor of Lockheed Martin, took over the former site of the WWII Bell Bomber plant.
The C-130 program is the largest program operating at the Marietta facility. The plant currently produces the C-130J Super Hercules (see the company’s Fast Facts on the C-130J or the company’s C-30J brochure for more information).
The Marietta plant also provides ongoing support for the C-5 Galaxy, which celebrated its 50th year in operation in 2018. The C-5 Galaxy is expected to remain in service until 2045.
The Marietta location also supports the P-3 Orion, and manufactures the center wings for the F-35.