20 people at Mississippi plant work on F-22

Published 5:39 pm Tuesday, April 7, 2009

About 20 people at Meridian’s Lockheed Martin plant work on a fighter jet that the Pentagon wants to stop producing.

Defense Secretary Robert Gates has recommended halting production of the F-22 Raptor.

Rob Fuller, a Lockheed spokesman, said Tuesday that about 20 people support the F-22 in Meridian, where the vertical stabilizers are produced. Vertical stabilizers are on the tail of the plane.

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Fuller says the company is “assessing the impact” of Gates’ proposal.

Production of the F-22, which cost $140 million apiece, would be halted at 187.

Gates will likely face stiff resistance in Congress, where lawmakers are wary of losing defense contractor jobs with an economy in crisis.