The Pentagon today announced that an international team led by Lockheed Martin
This win signals a go-ahead for the team of Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman
"We are most pleased and appreciative that the governments of the United States and the United Kingdom have put their faith in the Lockheed Martin JSF team," said Vance Coffman, chairman and chief executive officer. "We intend to honor that trust by building a truly remarkable, capable and affordable, next-generation multirole fighter, on schedule and on cost. On behalf of Lockheed Martin, I pledge our full commitment to this cornerstone of future defense capability."
Today's announcement caps a four-year, $1 billion Concept Demonstration program that proved, for the first time ever that stealth and supersonic capabilities could be combined in an affordable, multirole fighter that also accommodates the unique operating requirements of the U.S. military and its allied partners.
"The success and safety of the JSF flight test program are a testimony to the outstanding job accomplished by the U.S. and U.K. JSF Joint Program Office," said Dain Hancock, executive vice president of Lockheed Martin, and president of Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company. "There is no question that the government's management of the Joint Strike Fighter program has set the standard for how to run a development program in the 21st century. Lockheed Martin is extremely appreciative to have been part of this history-making effort and enters the next phase of the program with pride to be of service in support of this important defense initiative."
"With today's announcement," Hancock added, "our nation has moved closer to fulfilling a vision of transformational airpower interoperability involving the U.S., U.K. and other nations. The decision is also very significant for those who will pilot the aircraft in the future. Today, our nation affirmed that these pilots will have the very best tools to do their job."
For the many suppliers and thousands of employees in more than 27 states and in the U.K. where the work will be done, the selection of the Lockheed Martin team means future jobs and economic stability. "For Lockheed Martin, and our key partners and team members, the program means continued involvement in the industrial base for tactical military aircraft and a significant source of business for decades to come," Hancock said. Several other countries are considering participation in the JSF program. These include the Netherlands, Italy, Denmark, Norway, Canada, and Turkey. The Lockheed Martin team has been actively working with these countries to develop future industrial opportunities.
United Kingdom technology figured heavily into the JSF design, and U.K. test pilots and flight-test engineers were instrumental in demonstrating that technology.
"This 21st century military aircraft will be the hallmark for tactical military aircraft for the next 30 years," said John Weston, chief executive officer of BAE SYSTEMS. "The integral collaborative partnering of governments and the concomitant industrial integration to develop, field and support this aircraft will stand as the model for affordably equipping allies and friends with the state-of-the-art ability to defend themselves and their interests. We are pleased to add our technologies, our capabilities and our commitment to the production of this aircraft. We pledge our continued full attention to completing this project on time, on budget, on specification."
On behalf of partner Northrop Grumman, chairman and chief executive officer Kent Kresa said, "Northrop Grumman is proud to be a principal member of the Lockheed Martin JSF team, whose world-class system will help ensure U.S. dominance in the skies in the decades to come. The JSF will deliver innovative, revolutionary technologies that will truly transform fighter aircraft capabilities."
"All in all, the entire design and test program for the demonstrator aircraft went extremely well," said Hancock. "Our team is ready. We will continue to listen to and be fully responsive to our customers as we meet all program commitments over the life of the SDD contract, and beyond, into production. This is a great win for the team and a testament to their innovation, drive and commitment to the JSF program."
Tom Burbage, executive vice president and general manager of the Lockheed Martin JSF program, said that long-term affordability will remain a priority for JSF. "Our JSF approach will radically reduce the cost of sustaining U.S. air power, by ensuring affordability during SDD, production, operations and support, and by achieving operational excellence throughout the program. That is what we promise and that is what we will provide to the government in this program.
"Cost control has been a guiding principle of this program from the very beginning, and it will continue to be our focus until the last JSF retires from service in the last half of the 21st century. This aircraft was designed from the start to be much easier and quicker to manufacture, maintain and support than any other aircraft before it. We understand the importance of affordability, and we will make it happen with JSF."
Using highly advanced manufacturing methods that dramatically reduce the time, parts and labor required to build each aircraft, the Lockheed Martin team will fly the first test aircraft in 2005 and deliver the first operational JSF in 2008. Final assembly will be at Lockheed Martin's Fort Worth, Texas, plant. Major subassemblies will be produced at Northrop Grumman's El Segundo, Calif., plant, and BAE SYSTEMS' facility at Samlesbury, England.
Three versions of the JSF are planned. The conventional takeoff and landing (CTOL) variant will be built in the highest quantities, and is designed for the U.S. Air Force. The U.S. Navy's carrier variant (CV) features a larger wing and control surfaces, additional wingtip ailerons and a special structure to absorb the punishing catapult launches and arrested landings associated with aircraft carrier operations. The short takeoff/vertical landing (STOVL) version is equipped with a unique shaft-driven lift fan propulsion system that enables the aircraft to take off from a very short runway or small aircraft carrier and land vertically. The U.S. Marine Corps will employ the STOVL JSF, which will be the first operational STOVL aircraft capable of sustained supersonic flight. The United Kingdom is evaluating both the STOVL and CV variants.
All variants will be supersonic and stealthy (radar-evading), and equipped with cutting-edge avionics designed to enhance the pilot's situational awareness. Range and payload will be markedly greater than those of current fighter aircraft. JSF is designed to require significantly less maintenance and support than fighters currently in service, cutting long-term ownership costs by half.
Northrop Grumman Corporation is a $15 billion, global aerospace and defense company with its worldwide headquarters in Los Angeles. Northrop Grumman provides technologically advanced, innovative products, services and solutions in defense and commercial electronics, systems integration, information technology and non-nuclear shipbuilding and systems. With 80,000 employees and operations in 44 states and 25 countries, Northrop Grumman serves U.S. and international military, government and commercial customers.
BAE SYSTEMS, headquartered in London, is a truly global systems, defense and aerospace company. BAE SYSTEMS employs more than 100,000 people and has annual sales of some 12 billion pounds. The company offers a global capability in air, sea, land and space with a world-class prime contracting ability supported by a range of key skills. BAE SYSTEMS designs and manufactures civil and military aircraft, surface ships, submarines, space systems, radar, avionics, communications, electronics, guided weapon systems and a range of other defense products.
Lockheed Martin Corporation is headquartered in Bethesda, Md., and is a global enterprise principally engaged in the research, design, development, manufacture and integration of advanced-technology systems, products and services. The corporation's core businesses are systems integration, space, aeronautics and technology services. Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company, a unit of Lockheed Martin Corporation, is a world leader in the design, development, systems integration, production and support of military aircraft. Headquartered in Fort Worth, Texas, its customers include the military services of the United States and allied countries throughout the world.
For photos and information on the JSF, visit: http://www.lmaeronautics.com/ .
For government information on the JSF program, visit http://www.jast.mil/ .
For information on Lockheed Martin Corporation, visit: http://www.lockheedmartin.com/ .
SOURCE: Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company, Northrop Grumman Corporation and
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