ROME, Italy --- Lockheed Martin and Alenia Aeronautica, a Finmeccanica company, have signed today the first contract starting Alenia Aeronautica’s production of the wings for the F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter.
The contract, for a total value of over USD$ 15 million, is the first of a series supporting Alenia Aeronautica’s long term activities within the JSF program, according to the Memorandum of Understanding, signed by the two companies in 2006, that envisages over $6 billion in opportunities for Italian industry.
Under the terms of the MoU Alenia Aeronautica is slated to produce more than 1,200 wings for the F-35 aircraft for the nine-partner program made up of Italy, United States, United Kingdom, Netherlands, Turkey, Australia, Canada, Denmark and Norway.
Alenia Aeronautica’s production for the JSF program will be carried out in Italy between 2009 and 2033, involving several Alenia Aeronautica production centres, starting with Campania and Puglia regions facilities, South Italy, which will be engaged in the activities for this first contract related to the LRIP 3 (third lot of F-35 Low-Rate Initial Production) aircraft batch. Alenia’s site in Piedmont will follow, starting from LRIP 4.
Besides the JSF wing production, Alenia’s involvement in the program includes the participation in F-35 Integrated Product Teams, the already achieved successful completion of the development phase and design activities for the wing boxes of the CTOL and CV (Carrier Variant) versions of the F-35 at Alenia’s plant in Campania, and the expected key involvement in follow-on logistics & operational support phases.
A further industrial opportunity for Alenia Aeronautica and the whole Italian industrial segment will be represented by the establishment of a facility in Italy for the final assembly and check-out (FACO) of F-35s to be delivered to Italy and the Netherlands. The FACO could also operate as a regional maintenance and support center within the F-35 logistics solution.
The F-35 wing assembly comprises a metal internal structure and carbon-fiber composite skins, all of which are assembled concurrently with electrical and hydraulic systems. It is a sophisticated key component of the aircraft, of strategic relevance both from the technological and industrial point of view.
“This agreement testifies to the great capacity of the Joint Strike Fighter program to build up strong industrial relationships at the international level,” said Dr. Bob Bolz, Lockheed Martin Vice President for the F-35 Program. “We are proud to assign the production of such a key component of the aircraft to Alenia Aeronautica, a company that stands out for its great capabilities in the production of advanced technology components for the aeronautics industry”.
Giancarlo Anselmino, Alenia Aeronautica Senior Vice President, Head of Business Unit Military Aircraft, said: “The JSF program represents for Alenia Aeronautica a further opportunity to develop its technological and industrial capability thanks to a close collaboration with a relevant group such as Lockheed Martin, and thanks to mutual know-how and technology transfer. Participation in JSF is another example of the great value and economic benefit brought about by complex aeronautical programs.
The F-35 Lightning II is a supersonic, multirole, 5th-generation stealth fighter. The single-engine F-35 is manufactured in three versions: a conventional-takeoff-and-landing (CTOL), a short-takeoff/vertical landing (STOVL) and the (CV) carrier variant. The three F-35 variants are derived from a common design and they use the same sustainment infrastructure worldwide. The fighter will replace at least 13 types of aircraft for 11 nations initially, making the Lightning II the most cost-effective fighter program in history.
Lockheed Martin is developing the F-35 with its principal industrial partners, Northrop Grumman and BAE Systems.
Two F-35s have entered flight test, two are in ground test and 19 are in various stages of assembly, including the first two production-model jets scheduled for delivery to the U.S. Air Force in 2010.
Lockheed Martin headquartered in Bethesda, Md., Lockheed Martin is a global security company that employs about 140,000 people worldwide and is principally engaged in the research, design, development, manufacture, integration and sustainment of advanced technology systems, products and services. The corporation reported 2007 sales of $41.9 billion.
Alenia Aeronautica, a Finmeccanica Company, is the largest Italian aeronautic player which operates worldwide in the commercial and military aviation, unmanned aerial vehicles and aerostructures. Over 2007 Alenia Aeronautica reported revenues of 2,306 million Euros, backlog for 8,248 million Euros and orders for 3,104. The total workforce is 13.301.
Lockheed Martin and Alenia Aeronautica Sign Contract for Initial Production of F-35 Wings