F-35 Factories In Italy, Japan Are Reopening After Closing for Coronavirus

The first F-35A rolls out of the Cameri, Italy, Final Assembly & Check Out (FACO) facility on March 12, 2015.

Lockheed Martin / Larry Bramblett

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The first F-35A rolls out of the Cameri, Italy, Final Assembly & Check Out (FACO) facility on March 12, 2015.

An assembly plant in Japan is already open and another in Italy is expected to reopen on Wednesday.

Both of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter assembly plants outside the United States are expected to be up and running by Wednesday after brief coronavirus-related shutdowns.

Leonardo’s final-assembly-and-checkout plant in Cameri, Italy, closed Monday and Tuesday for “deep cleaning and sanitization,” a person familiar with the F-35 program said Tuesday. That assembly plant is expected to reopen on Wednesday.

And Mitsubishi Heavy Industries’ F-35 plant in Japan reopened this week after being closed last week, the person said. 

Meanwhile the Lockheed Martin factory in Fort Worth, Texas, which builds F-35s for the U.S. military and most overseas customers, has not been affected by COVID-19, which has shuttered businesses and prompted firms across the United States to allow some employees to work from home.

“There’s been no significant impact to production or supply chain at this time,” the person familiar with the program said on the condition of anonymity.

In an emailed statement, Lockheed Martin, the lead F-35 contractor said: “As we monitor global developments we continue to use best practices to mitigate risks related to Coronavirus (COVID-19), while supporting the critical missions of our customers.”

Lockheed Martin has been urging employees potentially exposed to COVID-19 to work remotely and self-quarantine. 

Related: Defense Firms Limit Travel, Adapt As Coronavirus Spreads

Related: F-35 Factory in Japan Shuts Down Amid Coronavirus Outbreak

Related: The Prognosis: Latest News on Coronavirus & National Security

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