May 2, 2007 (by Lieven Dewitte) - GKN Aerospace has announced two new contracts with Lockheed Martin worth about $15 million for parts on the F-22A Raptor fighter jet.
The deals cover the supply of the inlet lip assembly, on a dual source basis, and the chine edge, as the sole-source supplier. GKN Aerospace announced in late 2006 that is also is the sole-source supplier for the $50 million horizontal stabilator on the F-22A.
Both the inlet lip assembly and the chine edge are composite assemblies that play an important role in maximising the stealth characteristics of the aircraft. The inlet lip assembly is the inlet edge that surrounds the engine intake. It is comprised of multiple hand layup and resin transfer molded composite details that are assembled into extremely tight tolerance requirements. GKN Aerospace will manufacture and assemble this part for 50 percent of the aircraft in lots 5 through 9. First deliveries start in 2007 and continue through to 2009.
The chine edge is the structural cover over the area where the cockpit and fuselage transition into the wing. This cocured composite assembly is another critical component of the F-22 airframe. The contract covers aircraft lots 6 – 9, with deliveries starting by the end of 2007 and continuing to 2009. Work on both contracts will take place alongside F-22A stabilator manufacture and assembly at GKN Aerospace’s St Louis, Mo., plant.