Episode 107 – Building the Future of Airpower Today: F-35 Production

In Episode 107 of the Aerospace Advantage podcast, Building the Future of Airpower Today: F-35 Production, John “Slick” Baum visits Lockheed Martin’s F-35 production line in Fort Worth, TX, where he chats with Steve Howes, vice president for F-35 production operations, and J.R. McDonald, vice president for F-35 business development. There’s no question that the F-35 is the world’s most lethal, survivable, and connected fighter aircraft. However, it’s one thing to talk about this sort of capability and quite another to actually produce it. Things became even more interesting when fate tossed in curveballs from COVID, global supply chain challenges, and historic levels of inflation. This episode digs into everything from what it takes to build this unrivaled aircraft and to how the team has overcome challenges and what it means to insert new capabilities on a production line. This is a unique opportunity to talk to the industry leaders who are actually building tomorrow’s airpower.


Host: Lt Col (Ret.) John “Slick” Baum, Senior Fellow, The Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies

Producer: Shane Thin

Executive Producer: Douglas Birkey

Guest: Steve Howes, Vice President for F-35 Production Operations, Lockheed Martin

Guest: J.R. McDonald, Vice President for F-35 Business Development, Lockheed Martin

Image Credit: Lockheed Martin

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