Fighter Jet News

F-35 Lightning II News

First Power Thermal Management Unit for the F-35

May 23, 2009 (by Eric L. Palmer) - Honeywell rolled out its first power thermal management unit destined for the F-35 on Wednesday from its Phoenix facility.

The DoD's newest fighter, the F-35 Lightning II, also known as the Joint Strike Fighter, touched down at Eglin on April 22nd, 2009. This was the first time the aircraft visited Eglin. The visit was to showcase the aircraft to the local community and Eglin personnel. Eglin will be the future home of the JSF training facility. [USAF photo by Amn. Anthony Jennings]

The device is slated to perform several functions on the Lockheed-Martin-built fighter, which will enter service in 2012. The unit will provide auxiliary and emergency power and environmental controls in a first-of-its-kind design that incorporates multiple uses into a single unit.

“It saves the aircraft a tremendous amount of weight, more weight than it actually weighs,” said Kurt Meister, vice president of the program at Honeywell.

The company has orders for 48 of the devices so far and is developing another 17, but could supply up to 2,500 of the planes being built for the U.S. Air Force, U.S. Navy and U.S. Marine Corps. It could also build another 1,000 to 2,000 of the devices for planes sold to other countries, plus an equal amount of replacement units, Meister said.

Officials would not put a dollar figure on the contract.

The F-35, winning design in the Joint Strike Fighter program, eventually will replace numerous aircraft in the U.S. military forces, including the F-16.

The devices will be manufactured in Phoenix with components coming from Honeywell’s facilities in Tucson and Tempe, Meister said.

The unit is not the only system Morristown, N.J.-based Honeywell is building for the plane, but it is the only part produced in the Phoenix area.