Three Netherlands- based companies have added approximately $58 million to the country's work share in the Lockheed Martin F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program. The Netherlands' F-35 JSF business currently exceeds $150 million.
On Sept. 25 in El Segundo, Calif., Stork Fokker AESP B.V. officials signed a Letter of Agreement with F-35 principal partner Northrop Grumman Integrated Systems to design, develop and produce flight-moveable doors for all versions of the F-35 during the current System Development and Demonstration (SDD) phase of the program. The value of the agreement is approximately $55 million. SDD continues through 2012. Flight-moveable doors are panels such as landing gear doors that can open and close during flight.
"The Netherlands continues to demonstrate the high levels of technical and manufacturing sophistication that are required to compete for work on the F-35," said Tom Burbage, Lockheed Martin executive vice president and general manager of the F-35 JSF program. "We expect still more F-35 industrial participation for the Netherlands not only as SDD progresses, but as we move into the Low Rate Initial Production (LRIP) phase later this decade."
Members of the Fokker design team will be stationed at Lockheed Martin in Fort Worth and at Northrop Grumman
"This is another important step for Dutch participation in the JSF program, but certainly not the end of the road," said Cees van der Knaap, the Netherlands deputy secretary of defense who was present at Lockheed Martin during the final stage of the negotiations. "As a Level 2 partner we have great confidence in the system and the program. We also have great expectations of the ultimate participation of our highly qualified industry. Today's contracts are a clear indication of the strength gained by the Dutch government's joint efforts with its industrial base, and they also demonstrate the effectiveness of that partnership on the international defense scene."
Additionally, the Dutch firm ATS Kleizen won a $3.6 million contract from Lockheed Martin to fabricate tooling for the F-35's composite control surfaces and fixed edges (leading- and trailing-edge wing and empennage components). The tooling fabrication will consist of high-precision honeycomb-core bonding tools, honeycomb-core milling fixtures, hexply bonding fixtures, waterjet fixtures and vacuum-assisted precision milling trim fixtures.
Lockheed Martin also received a contract modification that will enable Northrop Grumman Electronic Systems to contract with Netherlands-based Thales NL for the development of high-reliability cryogenic coolers. The coolers help maintain optimum temperatures for critical on-board electro-optical systems for the F-35. The high reliability of the Thales cooler will contribute to improved overall system reliability and lower support costs for the F-35.
The F-35 is a stealthy, supersonic multirole fighter designed to replace a wide range of aging fighter and strike aircraft. Three variants derived from a common design will ensure F-35 meets the performance needs of the U.S. Air Force, Marine Corps, Navy and allied defense forces worldwide, while staying within strict affordability targets.
Lockheed Martin is developing the F-35 in conjunction with its principal industrial partners, Northrop Grumman and BAE SYSTEMS. Companies worldwide are participating in the F-35's development.
Among the aircraft F-35 will replace are the AV-8B Harrier, A-10, F-16, F/A-18 and United Kingdom's Harrier GR.7 and Sea Harrier.
Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Co., a business area of Lockheed Martin
Headquartered in Bethesda, Md., Lockheed Martin Corp. employs about 125,000 people worldwide and is principally engaged in the research, design, development, manufacture and integration of advanced technology systems, products and services. The corporation reported 2002 sales of $26.6 billion.
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SOURCE: Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company
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