Lockheed Martin has awarded a multi-million dollar contract to Kitron for F-35 low-rate initial production (LRIP) programme (LRIP 11).

Under the contract, Kitron will produce integrated backplane assembly (IBA) for the F-35 Lightning II fighter jet. The IBA is an advanced and complex high-level assembly.

Additionally, Kitron will be responsible to manufacture, test, maintain and repair the IBA in the F-35.

Delivery under the contract will begin later this year and continue through to 2018.

Kitron Norway managing director Hans Petter Thomassen said: "After years of supplying for the earlier stages of the low-rate initial production programme, it is good to see the volume increase to the quantities expected for full-rate production.”

Norway is one of the international partner countries participating in the F-35 programme.

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"Norway is one of the international partner countries participating in the F-35 programme."

The Lockheed Martin-built F-35 fighter jet combines advanced stealth with fighter speed and agility, advanced mission systems, fully fused sensor information and network-enabled operations.

The F-35 is available in three different variants and is designed to replace various aircraft for the US Air Force, Marine Corps and Navy, and 11 international countries.

This fifth-generation fighter is fitted with AESA radar, EOTS targeting system, distributed aperture system (DAS), helmet mounted display (HMD), and the communications, navigation and identification (CNI) avionics.

Image: A US Air Force F-35A Lightning II joint strike fighter. Photo: courtesy of US Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Donald R. Allen.