L.A. defense subcontractors are poised to earn billions of dollars through the next decade now that the Pentagon has green-lighted the first 10 of what could amount to 331 next-generation F-22 stealthy jet fighters.
Although the main assembly will take place at Lockheed Martin Corp.'s Marietta, Ga. plant, about 160 local suppliers will carve a $5 billion to $7 billion slice of the aeronautics pie, including $372 million for the initial order, a Lockheed Martin spokesman said.
Raytheon Corp.'s El Segundo plant will gain the most, having landed $3 billion to produce the common integrated processors, which is the plane's central control system.
Other beneficiaries include Honeywell International Inc. in Torrance, which will receive $421 million to create the environmental control systems and BAE Systems Inc. in Santa Monica, which will get $371 million to build the motors that help guide the flight control systems.
"In the short term, this is good for L.A. because of the subcontractor base," said Jon Kutler, president of Quarterdeck Investment Partners Inc., aerospace consultants. "But there could be the potential for offsetting cuts in other programs that could affect L.A. "
The F-22, designed to replace Boeing Co.'s aging F-15, can travel 600 miles per hour at sea level, carry two heat-seeking missiles and six advanced medium-range air-to-air missiles.
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