At the rollout in Texas of the first operational Dutch F-35, GKN Aerospace and Lockheed Martin confirmed their agreement to continue their collaboration on the platform.
Specifically, GKN will continue to manufacture the flaperons, inflight opening doors, arresting gear and electrical wiring and interconnection system (EWIS) for the platform for a further five years, using GKN Fokker facilities in the Netherlands and Turkey. GKN Fokker has been a valued supplier on the F-35 programme since 2002 and has produced and delivered the first three items for all F-35 aircraft that are currently flying and in production: in addition, it has designed and produced the EWIS for the current fleet.
Dutch State Secretary of Economic Affairs Mona Keijzer, Royal Netherlands Air Force Commander-in-Chief, Lt-Gen Dennis Luyt, and the Netherlands’ Special Envoy for industrial participation, Maxime Verhagen, all attended the ceremony.
“Our deliveries have supported over 350 F-35s and we are proud to be a part of Lockheed Martin’s tradition of aerospace leadership and innovation, and to contribute to one of the largest and technologically most advanced aircraft programmes in the world. With a total estimated production of more than 3,000 F-35 aircraft, this is a major opportunity for our company in the decades to come in terms of employment, knowledge and innovation,” commented GKN Fokker Chief Executive, John Pritchard.
“This showcases the success of the Netherlands international participation programme for the F-35, on which we can continue to build in the next 30 years. [The] F-35 has created long-term employment for thousands of skilled technical employees in the aerospace industry. Dutch industry has already been awarded €1.5 billion of production orders. This amount will grow significantly in the years to come. The upcoming sustainment phase of the F-35 will offer a unique opportunity for our industry to position itself as the partner of choice for sustainment orders,” added the Netherlands’ Special Envoy for Industrial Participation, Maxime Verhagen.