Lockheed Martin has reshuffled its F-35 Joint Strike Fighter team, promoting their former F-35 general manager, Dan Crowley, to chief operating officer of the company's aeronautics division and replacing him with former F-22 general manager Larry Lawson.
"Dan's contributions on the F-35 program and his demonstrated leadership in prior roles make him ideally suited to be the chief operating officer of Aeronautics," said Ralph Heath, executive vice president of Lockheed Martin Aeronautics, in a May 3 company statement announcing the changes. "With F-35 aircraft designs completed, 16 of 19 test aircraft delivered, all three variants of the F-35 in ground and flight test, including critical milestones of the first F-35B vertical landing and first flight of the F-35 mission systems aircraft, it's an ideal time to transition leadership as we prepare for rapid growth of the program in the years ahead."
This comes as Lockheed Aeronautics is looking at increased business in several other aircraft programs, including C-5M and C-130J side of the house, company spokesman Joe Stout said.
This, combined with the fact that the F-35 program is moving toward production, has led Hearst to seek assistance in running the day-to-day operations of the company so that he could focus on the division's long term interests, and "he felt Dan was the best person to do that," said Stout.
Meanwhile, Tom Burbage, Lockheed's general manager for F-35 program integration, will remain in his position.
George Shultz is now general manager for the F-22 program. He was the deputy general manager of the program.
This comes after Lockheed officials confirmed that the F-35 program completed 27 out of 29 planned flight tests in April. While this was two short of Lockheed's goal for the month, company spokesman John Kent noted that the company is actually two flights ahead of their yearly schedule, placing the program at 60 flights as of April 30.