GE Aerospace announced on 19 April that is has entered into an agreement with Lockheed Martin to provide global assistance for the avionics and electrical power systems of the F-35.

According to Chris Newman, F-35 senior programme manager at GE Aerospace, ensuring the reliability and mission readiness of the aircraft remains a priority. Amid the ongoing expansion of the F-35 fleet, efforts have been made to bolster lead time, supply availability and delivery to customers. “This Global PBL deal underpins our relentless drive to make the F-35 ever more affordable to operate,” he said.

Under the recently signed four-year agreement, GE Aerospace systems will be responsible for the maintenance, repair and overhaul of the F-35 Lightning II aircraft.

GE Aerospace will provide repair and maintenance services for the F-35 systems at various locations including California, Georgia and Utah, as well as GE sites in Grand Rapids, Michigan, Long Island, New York, and Cheltenham, UK.

Since its inception, GE Aerospace has been a strong supporter of the F-35 programme, providing a range of critical systems including electrical power management, standby flight display, remote input output, aircraft memory, fuselage remote interface and missile remote interface, as well as the engine distress monitoring and ingested debris monitoring.

During the fourth-quarter financial announcements for General Electric (GE) on 24 January, GE chairman and CEO H Lawrence Culp emphasised the significance of GE Aerospace. Culp described the aerospace division as “premier franchise with a highly differentiated product and technology portfolio and leading positions in attractive commercial and military sectors.”

GE Aerospace reported a robust quarter with a significant increase in orders and revenue growth. The company experienced organic growth of more than 20% in both orders and revenue. The Commercial Services and Equipment revenue witnessed organic growth of about 30%, while Military revenue grew organically by around 20%. According to the January financial announcement, internal shop visits increased by approximately 25%. The surge in LEAP unit orders is indicative of a robust performance in the equipment sector, with an increase of nearly 50%.

The decision comes a month after the US Department of Defense rejected the GE Aerospace XA100 adaptive engine being considered for the F-35.