Log in to use our free company, program and sector update tracker feature.

Front page

BAE Systems starts manufacture of the first F-35 Lightning II production aircraft

BAE Systems has cut metal on its first component for the F-35 Lightning II production aircraft. This opening cut, on a component part of the aft fuselage, signifies a major milestone for the F-35 Lightning II programme.

The metal cut is for the first production F-35 Lightning II aircraft which will enter into service with the US Air Force (USAF) in 2010 and follows the production contract announcement made in December last year. The contract - a Low Rate Initial Production (LRIP) contract - is worth £25m to BAE Systems and will see the production of two conventional take off and landing variants.

The component was cut by BAE Systems' supplier Hyde, at their Manchester factory. The component will move to BAE Systems' Samlesbury site in Lancashire for further manufacturing work before all parts are assembled together before being shipped to programme partner, Lockheed Martin's site in Texas for final assembly.

Tom Fillingham, F-35 Lightning II Managing Director said: "This is a proud and important moment for BAE Systems. We are progressing well through the development stage of the F-35 Lightning II programme and now, concurrently with development aircraft manufacture, we are producing the first production aircraft. This is a clear signal of how mature the product is at this early stage of its life."

Three versions of the F-35 Lightning II are planned: a conventional take-off and landing (CTOL), a short take-off and vertical landing (STOVL) and a carrier variant (CV).  Each is derived from a common design, and will ensure that the F-35 JSF meets the performance needs of the US Air Force, Marine Corps and Navy, the Royal Air Force and Royal Navy, and allied defence forces worldwide, while staying within strict affordability targets.

BAE Systems Inc in the US also brings key capabilities to the F-35 programme and delivers significant elements of the programme including electronic warfare, advanced low observable apertures, advanced countermeasure systems, vehicle management computer and active inceptor systems.

The F-35 Lightning II, also known as the Joint Strike Fighter (JSF), will be the world's first and only stealthy, supersonic, multi-role fighter. The F-35 is being developed for the U.S. Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps to replace the AV-8B Harrier, A-10, F-16 and the F/A-18 Hornet and for the UK's Royal Air Force and Royal Navy to replace the Harrier GR9 and Sea Harrier.

Press release issued by BAE Systems plc on April 24, 2008


 Contact details from our directory:
BAE Systems plc Airframer
Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company Airframer


 Related aircraft programs:
Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II


 Related directory sectors:
Airframe Assemblies

Enhanced listings:

Ascent Aerospace
Ascent Aerospace is the leading provider of aerospace tooling systems, assembly automation and factory integration.

Capacitec Gapman Gen3 portable “electronic feeler gauge” measures very small gaps (200 microns) in airframe parts assembly

Redcliffe Precision Ltd
Aerospace Multi Axis CNC Precision Manufacturers & Thread Rolling Specialists.

Beckwood Press
Your single source for aerospace forming equipment. Manufacturer of Triform Sheet hydroforming presses.

Fine Tubes
Manufacturer of precision tubes in high strength titanium, stainless steel and nickel alloys, seamless, welded or welded & redrawn

See our advertising tariff.


data pages remaining in monthly quota for non-subscribers

© Copyright of Airframer Limited, operated under licence by Stansted News Limited 2017. Terms & Conditions of reading.