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F-35 factories in Italy, Japan are reopening after closing for coronavirus

The active duty 388th and Reserve 419th Fighter Wings conducted an F-35A Combat Power Exercise at Hill Air Force Base, Utah, Jan. 6, 2020. (U.S. Air Force photo by R. Nial Bradshaw)

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.

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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.

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(c) 2020 By National Journal Group, Inc.

Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.