Fort Worth stands to benefit from potential Lockheed Martin contract

Lockheed Martin Corp.’s economic impact on Fort Worth could soar even higher if the Maryland-based firm secures a federal contract to provide trainer aircraft for the U.S. Air Force, according to company officials.

“Some of the work is going to be done right here in Fort Worth, Texas,” said Orlando Carvalho, executive vice president of Lockheed Martin Aeronautics, the Maryland company’s Fort Worth-based aeronautics division.

But final assembly of the T-50A would occur in the company’s Greenville, S.C. facility, though Fort Worth also would play a part, Carvalho told community leaders and industry executives at an Aug. 18 Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce luncheon at the Petroleum Club.

In the past year alone, another fighter aircraft has kept the Fort Worth operation busy while enriching the area economy. The F-35 fighter program has delivered $3.4 billion in direct and indirect economic impact to the area, benefited 78 state suppliers, and provided about 39,000 direct and indirect jobs, Carvalho said.

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“That’s at a production rate of a third of where we’re going to be at full rate,” Carvalho said.

Carvalho’s presentation came only two days after he and other company officials cut the ribbon on a newly opened advanced pilot training facility in Greenville, South Carolina. The refurbished facility will house the firm’s Ground Base Training System, as well as manufacturing hardware for final assembly for the T-50A trainer aircraft.

Lockheed Martin is one of four bidders hoping to secure the Air Force contract.