Lockheed Martin unit Derco has been selected to perform sustainment work for the F-35 Lightning II joint strike fighter (JSF) aircraft.

The company will provide parts warehousing and distribution sustainment for the F-35s and is investing in the Milwaukee facility to cater to the growing business.

The F-35 work will be delivered in support of the fighter jets flown by the US Air Force, US Marine Corps, US Navy and allies around the world.

Speaking during his visit to Derco, US President Donald Trump said: “From here in Milwaukee, you are supporting magnificent aircraft, and soon you’ll support the unstoppable, stealth F-35 Lightning II.

“I am thrilled to be back in the great state of Wisconsin with the extraordinary men and women of Derco. We are here today to celebrate the triumphant return of American manufacturing and everything we are doing to keep the assembly lines rolling.”

Lockheed Martin stated that it is planning to increase the workforce at the Deco facility by 15% by the end of the year.

The role of Derco will initially support the management and delivery of 1,500 different F-35 aircraft parts to locations worldwide.

To be able to deliver the increased work, the company intends to hire new personnel in roles such as repair technicians, operations personnel and supply chain management experts.

The US Department of Defence has a programme of record to acquire 2,456 F-35 aircraft. Lockheed Martin will deliver an additional 1,000 aircraft to US allied countries.

Furthermore, Derco is expanding the campus and plans to boost the F-35 repair capabilities in Milwaukee by bringing in additional suppliers into the supply chain.

Meanwhile, media sources reported that Lockheed Martin will keep open a Sikorsky helicopter plant in Pennsylvania.

The commitment to keep the plant open comes after recent reports of the company’s plans to close it by the end of this year.

Derco maintains aircraft spares inventory of more than 75,000 unique parts.