Last year was nobody’s idea of a banner year for the aerospace industry, but at least one program seems have done unusually well–the F-35 fighter. The Pentagon’s biggest weapons program saw record deliveries and steadily increasing acceptance in the global market. Most of America’s key allies in Asia and Europe are buying the fighter, and eight have declared it operational. It is increasingly clear that F-35 is the face of air dominance through mid-century, and in 2021 the program demonstrated it could stay ahead of potential adversaries such as China while nonetheless reducing the cost of building and operating a highly advanced aircraft. Any way you slice it, 2021 was a good year for Lockheed Martin’s flagship product, and 2022 looks likely to continue the momentum. I have written a commentary for Forbes here.
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