March 4, 2020 / 3:03 PM / a month ago

Work paused at F-35 jet assembly facility in Japan due to coronavirus, Pentagon says

WASHINGTON, March 4 (Reuters) - Work at the F-35 fighter-jet factory in Japan has paused for a week due to concerns over the coronavirus outbreak, a U.S. defense official said on Wednesday.

F-35 jets are made at a Lockheed Martin factory in Ft. Worth, Texas but allies assemble jets for themselves at two final assembly and check out facilities (FACO) in Japan and Italy.

"In Japan, I believe they shut down the FACO for a week," Ellen Lord, the Pentagon's top weapons buyer, told reporters on the sidelines of a defense conference in Washington.

Still, deliveries were not impacted, Lord said.

At the F-35 plant in Italy, "Lockheed has directed their employees to work from home," Lord said.

A Lockheed Martin representative did not immediately respond to a request for comment. (Reporting by Mike Stone; Editing by Bernadette Baum)

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