The Lockheed F-35 program is the most expensive defense program in U.S. history at $391.1 billion.
By Lance Murray
Lockheed Martin Corp. has “greatly exaggerated” how many jobs have been generated in the United States by the Fort Worth-based F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program, according to a report released Wednesday by a nonprofit research group.
Businessweek said that the report by the Center for International Policy asserts that Lockheed’s claim that the program has created 125,000 U.S.-based direct and indirect jobs in 46 states “is roughly double the likely number of jobs sustained by the program.”
Lockheed Martin Aeronautics (NYSE: LMT) is based in Fort Worth and manufacturers the high-tech jets at its massive plant on the city’s west side. Lockheed Martin employs roughly 10,000 people at the Fort Worth plant out of the 116,000 people it employs worldwide.
According to the Washington-based Center for International Policy, the real figure, “based on standard estimating procedures used in other studies in the field, should be on the order of 50,000 to 60,000,” Businessweek reported.
Job creation has been one of the biggest selling points in continued funding support in Congress for the $391.1 billion program, the most expensive defense program in U.S. history.
A Lockheed spokesman told Businessweek that it stands by its figures.