March 7, 2009 (by Eric L. Palmer) - HITCO Carbon Composites, California, U.S.A., a subsidiary of SGL Group – The Carbon Company – announced that Lockheed Martin has signed a Letter of Intent (LOI) selecting HITCO to manufacture wing skins and other components for the F-35 Lightning II program.
F-35B STOVL Rollout Ceremony on December 18th, 2007
HITCO will serve as a Strategic Competitive Supplier to Lockheed Martin and will support F-35 program requirements that designate the use of Bismaleimide (BMI) composite materials for upper and lower wing skins and nacelle skins using its Automated Fiber Placement (AFP) capabilities. This opportunity extends from Low Rate Initial Production (LRIP
) through Full Rate Production (FRP). HITCO may also build the BMI aft and forward covers and upper wing skin covers.
"HITCO intends to utilize its Viper® 6000 Automated Fiber Placement (AFP) machine to manufacture the majority of these components. We can achieve more efficient and reliable fabrication of complex composite aircraft structures utilizing this state-of-the-art, equipment. We will also build on the expertise HITCO has developed with BMI composite materials in our current work with Lockheed Martin." said Edward G. Carson, Executive Vice President. "HITCO and its parent, SGL Group, have made significant investments in automated manufacturing capacity within the last two years enabling HITCO to fulfill its mission of becoming a world-class, Tier II supplier to the aerospace industry," Carson concluded.
HITCO provides components to a variety of aircraft programs including the Boeing C-17, 747 and 787 to name a few.