in Defence

BAE Systems reaches F-35 production milestone

Posted 16 August 2017 · Add Comment

BAE Systems' engineers working on F-35 Lightning II combat jets for the UK's new aircraft carriers, have reached a key production milestone.



The 318th rear section for an F-35 Lightning II combat jet has rolled off BAE Systems' production line in Samlesbury, Lancashire, meaning that 10% of the global requirement has now been produced.
 
The aft fuselage is the back part of the state-of-the-art aircraft’s main body and with more than 3,000 aircraft currently on order it is estimated that 25,000 jobs will be sustained across the UK by more than 500 companies in the supply chain when at peak production.
 
The rear section has now transferred from our advanced manufacturing suite to Lockheed Martin’s Final Assembly and Check Out line in Fort Worth, Texas to be connected with other major assemblies to become one of three aircraft variants.

The 318th aft fuselage in particular will form part of a UK ‘B’ model variant of the combat jet. This variant has a short take-off and vertical landing capability and will be the variant used on Britain’s new Queen Elizabeth Class (QEC) aircraft carriers.

With HMS Queen Elizabeth entering her new home in Portsmouth today, the F-35B jets are on track to make their first flight trials from her deck next year.
 
The F-35 programme is the world's largest single defence programme and, as a key partner, the UK has been working closely with the US from the outset.
 
Minister for Defence Procurement Harriett Baldwin, said: “This is an important milestone and the latest example of how the F-35 programme is benefitting the UK’s defence industry, creating thousands of jobs and helping to keep Britain safer and more secure.
 
“Britain is a leading partner in the development of the F-35, supporting not just the aircraft that will operate from RAF Marham and our two new Queen Elizabeth Class aircraft carriers, but also the thousands of jets that will serve our allies around the world.”
 
Andrea Thompson, F-35 Lightning II Director for BAE Systems Military Air & Information, said: “Reaching the 10% mark of production on the F-35 programme shows how far we have come, but also highlights that there is an enormous amount of work still to do.

“With an order book of more than 3,000 aircraft for the global F-35 fleet, the investments we are making in our advanced manufacturing facilities are key to ensuring we continue to deliver on our commitments.
 
“To add to this, we are also working closely with our supply chain to ensure they are equipped to meet the ramp up in production at the same time as delivering against our existing commitments.”
 
Eric Branyan, vice president of F-35 Supply Chain Management for Lockheed Martin said: “BAE Systems is a valued partner on the F-35 programme, and we congratulate them on this significant milestone.

"The United Kingdom is the F-35 programme's only tier one partner and the work of BAE Systems and other in-country suppliers has a significant positive impact on the UK economy. We look forward to many more years of partnering to deliver the most advanced and capable fifth generation fighter jet to our allies around the world.”
 
BAE Systems is responsible for 15% of the work on each aircraft including every aft fuselage as well as other mission critical systems for the F-35 Lightning II programme.
 
The first operational Lightning II squadrons will be the RAF’s 617 Squadron (The Dambusters) and 809 Naval Air Squadron.


 

* required field

Post a comment

Other Stories
Advertisement
Latest News

QinetiQ brings autonomy expertise to European research programme

QinetiQ is to play a pivotal role in OCEAN2020, the first research programme awarded by the European Defence Agency as part of its European Defence Fund initiative.

Lincad wins Leonardo power management contract

Lincad, the British manufacturer of bespoke batteries, chargers and power management systems for military applications, is pleased to announce that it has won a further contract with Leonardo to supply batteries and other power

MAEL and Icelandair expand maintenance partnership

Monarch Aircraft Engineering (MAEL) has won an expanded maintenance commitment from Icelandair.

Oxford Airport hosts hullo launch

Following the successful introduction of the hullo Aircrew brand at EBACE last year, the technology start-up has officially launched its industry-first software platform at London Oxford Airport, which is designed to connect

Babcock to develop Busan base

Further strengthening its international reach and its presence in South Korea, Babcock International has announced that it is to open a facility in Busan, South Korea’s second largest city after its capital Seoul.

Innalabs secures €2.6m ESA contract.

InnaLabs has announced a €2.6m contract with ESA to design, develop, manufacture and test a highly reliable radiation hardened 3-axis gyroscope, used for measuring angular velocity or maintaining orientation of satellites.

Aviation Africa SK18418
See us at
S&P BT281117080318SMI FAVWSBT1402060618SMI FAVSABT2411120418Aviation Africa BT18418SMI HelicopterTBT1402240518FIL18 BT111017220718