FARNBOROUGH, United Kingdom --- BAE Systems announced today that it has signed a Letter of Intent (LOI) for the newly named F-35 Lightning II low-rate initial production of empennage and tooling services with key Canadian, Australian and Danish tooling and airframe suppliers.
Key representatives from Magellan, Avcorp, Broens, Marand, Metaltec and Terma signed individual letters of intent during a press conference held at the Farnborough International Show in Farnborough, England. Hawker de Havilland signed a separate Letter of Intent in June 2006.
BAE Systems, a principal partner in the F-35 Lightning II team, is responsible for designing, engineering and manufacturing the aft fuselage and empennage (vertical and horizontal tails) for each F-35 aircraft.
“BAE Systems is committed to growing international participation in the F-35 programme by identifying best-value sourcing opportunities in F-35 partner nations," explains Tom Fillingham, Vice President and Deputy Programme Manager. “These Letters of Intent are the culmination of a six-month evaluation process that ultimately found these companies to be the best value suppliers for these services.”
Tom Burbage, Vice President, Programme Integration, Lockheed Martin, explains, “As the F-35 Lightning II team plans ahead to rate production, we are analyzing the capacity available and investment required and determining how much outsourcing is needed. Thanks to the ongoing commitment and support of our partner BAE Systems, international participation in the F-35 programme continues to grow and we are able to expand our second source supply chain.”
Fillingham concludes, "Today, BAE Systems is proud to welcome these tooling and airframe companies to the growing supplier network. These companies bring demonstrated experience, precision machining capabilities, and a reputation for quality, making them key assets to the BAE Systems supply chain.”
The BAE Systems Letters of Intent (LOIs) represent a potential value in excess of £545 million. The Letters of Intent include carrier variant (CV) outboard wing work for Avcorp and conventional take-off and landing horizontal tails for Magellan in Canada while Terma’s Letter of Intent specifies short take-off vertical landing horizontal tails (STOVL) in Denmark. Australian-based Broens, Marand and Metaltec will provide rate tooling services and Hawker de Havilland will supply conventional take-off and landing (CTOL) vertical tails.
In a ceremony on July 7 at Lockheed Martin in Fort Worth, Texas, the F-35 made its public debut and received its name “Lightning II” which echoes two great fighter aircraft of the past: the World War II-era Lockheed P-38 Lightning and the supersonic Lightning jet developed by English Electric, which later became BAE Systems, in the middle 1950s.
The F-35 Lightning II will replace a wide range of existing aircraft, including AV-8B Harriers, A-10s, F-16s and F/A-18 Hornets for the US and Harrier GR.7s and Sea Harriers for the UK. The F-35 will be the most powerful single-engine fighter ever made.
The inaugural flight of the first F-35, a preproduction conventional takeoff and landing variant, is planned for later this year. Fifteen F-35s will undergo flight test, seven will be used for ground testing and another will validate the aircraft’s radar signature.
BAE Systems is responsible for the F-35 electronic warfare systems suite, a key sensor system for F-35 pilots, and is also providing advanced affordable low-observable apertures and advanced countermeasure systems. BAE Systems is responsible for the design and delivery of key areas of the vehicle and weapon systems, in particular the fuel system, crew escape, life support system and Prognostics Health Management integration. The company also has significant work share in Autonomic Logistics, primarily on the support system side, and is involved in the Integrated Test Force, including the systems flight test and mission systems.
BAE Systems is the premier transatlantic defence and aerospace company delivering a full range of products and services for air, land and naval forces, as well as advanced electronics, information technology solutions and customer support services. With more than 100,000 employees worldwide, BAE Systems’ sales exceeded GB £15.4 billion (US$28 billion) in 2005
BAE Systems Enters F-35 Partnership with Canadian, Australian and Danish Suppliers Totalling £ 545 Million