Ann Arbor consultant: F-35’s economic impact $72B a year

ANN ARBOR–The Lockheed Martin F-35 program is the most economically significant defense program in history, yet previous estimates of its impact upon the United States economy are conservative, according to Richard Aboulafia, managing director of Ann Arbor-based AeroDynamic Advisory.

“When one accounts for all the activity of Lockheed Martin’s sub-tier suppliers as well as the vital sustainment activities necessary to support this aircraft, the actual economic impact is at least 10% higher than originally thought,” added Kevin Michaels, managing director at AeroDynamic Advisory.

AeroDynamic Advisory recently conducted an independent audit of the F-35 program. It was briefed on Lockheed Martin’s economic impact methodology and provided access to its internal activities and its Tier 1 supplier spend data.

Based on its decades of aerospace consulting experience and its proprietary databases, AeroDynamic Advisory concludes that Lockheed Martin’s initial annual economic impact estimate of $65 billion is conservative. AeroDynamic’s estimate is approximately $72 billion. This estimate reflects money spent in internal manufacturing and final assembly activities as well as direct spending with multiple tiers of suppliers and a broad range of sustainment activities. These activities, in turn, generate indirect economic activity, a measure of the impact of the F-35 on the broader non-aerospace economy.

AeroDynamic Advisory is a specialty consulting firm focused on the global aerospace and aviation industries. Visit to view the full report.

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