Airbus Industrie and Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to cooperate on a number of aeronautical initiatives, including support systems and process development for the Joint Strike Fighter (JSF).
"We are creating a multirole fighter with unprecedented supportability," said Frank J. Cappuccio, vice president and program manager for the Lockheed Martin JSF. "The type of international support network Airbus Industrie uses for its commercial aircraft also would benefit our JSF as it is deployed around the world."
The agreement marks the first link between Lockheed Martin and the Toulouse, France-based commercial jet consortium. Airbus Industrie officials say the new relationship has the potential for bringing a welcome infusion of technology. Cappuccio said the agreement signals a change in defense-related business practices.
"As we enter the new acquisition-reform era of products and services for the United States and its allies, customized commercial practices will need to be adopted. Our partnership with Airbus Industrie provides unique commercial expertise on the Lockheed Martin team at a critical time in the JSF's development," Cappuccio said. "We are very pleased with Airbus Industrie's commitment and believe this will be the beginning of a long and prosperous relationship."
Airbus Industrie, a partnership between EADS (European Aeronautics Defense and Space Company) and BAE SYSTEMS, produces commercial aircraft for more than 100 airlines. The consortium surpassed Boeing in market share in 1999.
Lockheed Martin received one of two JSF Concept Demonstration contracts awarded by the Department of Defense in November 1996. The Lockheed Martin JSF team includes Northrop Grumman and BAE SYSTEMS. Flight evaluation of the demonstrator aircraft is scheduled to take place in 2000, with government selection of a single contractor for the Engineering and Manufacturing Development phase set for 2001.
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SOURCE: Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company
Contact: John Kent of Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company, 817-763-3980,
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