Kitron has been awarded a contract by Harris to produce Integrated Backplane Assembly (IBA) for the F-35 Lightning II fifth-generation fighter aircraft.

The $18m contract includes an economic order quantity purchase for production lots 12 to 14.

The IBA is an advanced and complex high-level assembly. Kitron is scheduled to commence deliveries of the IBA this year and continue until 2021.

Under the manufacturing licence agreement with Harris, Kitron will manufacture, test, maintain and repair the IBA in the Lockheed Martin-built F-35 fighter jet.

Kitron Norway managing director Hans Petter Thomassen said: “With the economic order quantity sub-contract, Kitron have become the largest international supplier for Harris. This is an achievement for a small supplier from Norway, which makes me proud.”

In October 2016, Lockheed Martin awarded a contract to Kitron to supply IBA for F-35 jets under low-rate initial production lot 11.

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Kitron agreed to a long-term contract with Northrop Grumman in November 2016 to manufacture a sub-assembly, known as the Dual Channel Transmit / Receive (DCTR) module, for the F-35 fighters until 2036.

The DCTR module is part of the communications, navigation and identification (CNI) system developed for the aircraft by Northrop Grumman.

Norway is a partner nation in the global F-35 joint strike fighter (JSF) programme. Other countries include Australia, Canada, the Netherlands, Turkey, and the UK.

“The F-35 Lightning II brings together advanced stealth, fighter speed, agility, and advanced mission systems.”

Lockheed rolled out the first aircraft in 2006. The F-35 Lightning II brings together advanced stealth, fighter speed, agility, and advanced mission systems.

The three variants, F-35A, F-35B, and F-35C, are designed for the US Air Force, US Marine Corps and US Navy respectively. In addition to the US, the jets will be used by more than ten countries.