Lockheed-Martin held a press conference Wednesday morning at the headquarters of M2 Global Technology, a parts manufacturer for it's F-35 stealth fighter, to demonstrate the fighter's capabilities with a flight simulator.
"We've got over 700 parts in the Joint Strike Fighter in three variances. It's a big milestone, considering five years ago, we weren't even making parts for Lockheed-Martin," said M2 Global's CEO Doug Carberg.
The three variances will be for three different branches of the military. Each variance with special customizations to suit each branch. The F-35 will replace a number of different fighter aircraft.
"For the Air Force to replace the F-16 and the A-10. For the U.S. Marine Corps to replace the Harrier and the F18 A through D Hornet, and for he U.S. Navy the F18 A through D Hornet as well, " said Joe Malone, spokesman for Lockheed-Martin.
The jet incorporates stealth technology while outperforming the aircraft it is replacing by three to eight times in effectiveness in various battle and reconnaissance categories.
It will also save the government money when it comes to maintenance expenses.
"One airplane, three different variants. It uses as much commonality across building all three variants as you can. In the case of the cockpit, 100 percent the same. So we can fly on the same software, same avionics for all three variants and is saves a lot of money when you develop an airplane like this, " Malone said.
It will also create a few more jobs here in San Antonio. M2 Global Technology currently has 60 employees and is expected to double that number in the near future. It could also lead to residual employment at other companies in the area.
" We're working closely right now with the San Antonio Manufacturers Association and the Community College District to define what type of skills we're goingto need," said Carberg.