Lockheed Martin Greets New Chapter in F-35 Program With Innovative Management Strategy

The Lockheed Martin F-35 Joint Strike Fighter team is expanding leadership responsibility to focus on the program's two major elements: program- requirements integration and contract execution.

With the completion of the first 1,000 days of the program at the end of July, the JSF management team is repositioning to address the challenges of the next 1,000 days. Tom Burbage will lead a new organization as F-35 JSF executive vice president and general manager of Program Integration, responsible for the fulfillment of program requirements. Concurrent with Burbage's focused role on domestic and international customer requirements, Bob Elrod, formerly executive vice president for Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Programs, joins the team as F-35 JSF executive vice president and general manager. In this role, Elrod will be responsible for contract execution. Elrod and Burbage assumed their new duties on Aug. 2.

"The JSF program is always looking to strengthen the team with the addition of 'best athletes'. The addition of Bob, with very senior management skills, brings the opportunity to markedly improve the vertical and horizontal integration at the Air System level," said Rear Admiral Steven Enewold, JSF Program Director. "Because of its size and complexity, the JSF program needs the organizational agility to keep pace as the program transitions from one phase to the next. Bob clearly brings new insights and deep understanding of aircraft development which will be invaluable as we build and fly our first F-35 and transition to low-rate production."

Elrod is charged with successful execution of the program's current System Development and Demonstration phase, and the transition to production and operational service. He also will be responsible for the program's financial and technical health, as well as schedule performance. Elrod will serve as the contractor team's principal point of contact for the Joint Strike Fighter Program Office and government-acquisition customers.

In his new role, Burbage will ensure that all F-35 customer requirements are defined and fulfilled. He will serve as the contractor team's primary point of contact for senior U.S. government leaders, partner countries and worldwide industry as the program moves forward to production, and to the ultimate purchase of F-35s by an array of global customers.

In a joint letter issued to the F-35 JSF international program team today, Elrod and Burbage wrote, "We think this decision depicts the unqualified priority that the Lockheed Martin-led team places on this historic and long- term program and its successful execution in all areas. Collectively, we will represent a duality of leadership and will be inseparable in program coordination and execution."

Elrod most recently served as Lockheed Martin's executive vice president for programs, was president of the Lockheed Martin Skunk Works from 1999 to 2000, and before that led the world-renowned F-16 program.

Burbage joined the F-35 JSF program in 2000 as executive vice president and general manager, after serving as vice president and general manager of the F-22 program. He was also president of Lockheed Martin Aeronautical Systems Co. in Marietta, Ga., from 1999 to 2000.

The F-35 is a next-generation, supersonic, stealth strike fighter designed to replace current-generation fighters that are nearing the end of their service lives.

Lockheed Martin is developing the F-35 in conjunction with Northrop Grumman and BAE SYSTEMS. Companies worldwide are participating in the F-35's development. Two propulsion teams, led by Pratt & Whitney and General Electric, are developing separate interchangeable engines for the F-35.

Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Co., a business area of Lockheed Martin, is a leader in the design, research and development, systems integration, production and support of advanced military aircraft and related technologies. Its customers include the military services of the United States and allied countries throughout the world. Products include the F-16, F/A-22, F-35 JSF, F-117, C-5, C-130, C-130J, P-3, S-3 and U-2. The company produces major components for the F-2 fighter, and is a co-developer of the C-27J tactical transport and T-50 advanced jet trainer.

Headquartered in Bethesda, Md., Lockheed Martin employs about 130,000 people worldwide and is principally engaged in the research, design, development, manufacture and integration of advanced technology systems, products and services. The corporation reported 2003 sales of $31.8 billion.

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SOURCE: Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company

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