July 15, 2005 (by Lieven Dewitte) - BAE Systems employees are celebrating delivery of the first production standard F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) vertical tails, representing another major milestone for the company's involvement in the F-35 Program.
The delivery of the vertical tails, which were designed, manufactured and assembled by BAE
Systems in the UK, marks the beginning of the final stages of F-35 structural component delivery to Lockheed Martin at Fort. Worth, Texas. It represents further progress towards "power on" of the first production standard F-35 in Autumn 2005 and first flight in 2006.
The vertical tails will be mated to the BAE Systems-produced F-35 aft fuselage, as the first production standard aircraft takes shape with the front, centre and aft fuselages and wing now in place.
?BAE Systems involvement in the F-35 JSF
programme is moving at speed to ensure first flight of the production standard F-35 next year? explains Tom Fillingham, BAE Systems vice president and deputy programme manager, F-35 JSF. "We have now delivered both the aft fuselage and vertical tails and work is progressing well on the horizontal tails. The team here in the UK and in the US has done a fantastic job and has shown real commitment and determination to meet the challenges of the programme."
BAE Systems F-35 operations manager Mark Durning said: To deliver the F-35 vertical tails to our partners Lockheed Martin is another significant milestone for the BAE Systems team. This closely follows similarly successful delivery of the aft fuselage to Lockheed Martin.
BAE Systems facilities in both the US & UK are responsible for the design and delivery of key areas of the F-35 JSF platform and weapon systems, in particular the fuel system, crew escape, life support system, prognostics health management (PHM) integration and electro optical targeting system (EOTS
). BAE Systems also has significant work share in autonomic logistics, primarily with support systems and has involvement in the integrated test force programme.
The company is responsible for the F-35 JSF's Electronic Warfare (EW) systems suite and provides advanced, affordable, low observable apertures and countermeasure systems. It also supplies the vehicle management computer, the communication, navigation and identification (CNI) modules, active stick and throttle and the EOTS laser subsystem.
The system design & development (SDD
) phase is estimated to be worth $2.4 billion to BAE Systems in the UK and a further $750 million to BAE Systems North America. Production could be worth $16.5 billion to BAE Systems UK, and a further $4.5 billion in the U.S. These figures do not include export sales, support or other opportunities such as upgrade programs.