Kongsberg Defence Systems has been awarded a series of contracts to deliver structural components for the fifth-generation F-35 Lightning II joint strike fighter (JSF) aircraft.

Valued at a combined NOK460m ($71m), the contracts were awarded by Marvin Engineering and Northrop Grumman.

Kongsberg Defence Systems Aerostructures executive vice-president Terje Bråthen said: "We have been working on these contracts for some time, and we are pleased to expand our F-35 portfolio and strengthen our position as a supplier of quality products to the F-35 programme."

Awarded by Marvin, the NOK140m ($21.6m) contract requires the company to supply air-to-air weapons pylons for sixth, seventh and eight low-rate production phases (LRIP 6-8) of the F-35 aircraft.

In addition to this, the contracts include new deliveries to LRIP 1-3, to Marvin, which serves as Lockheed Martin‘s main supplier for weapons pylons.

Deliveries under the contract, which represents the first actual manufacturing agreement for pylons, are scheduled to take place over the next two years.

"The contracts include new deliveries to LRIP 1-3, to Marvin, which serves as Lockheed Martin’s main supplier for weapons pylons."

The NOK160m ($24.7m) contract with Northrop covers the supply of composite centre fuselage parts for the LRIP 8-9 of F-35 fighter.

The contract also represents a call-off order under a framework agreement for LRIP 8-10.

Kongsberg also received a NOK160m ($26.6m) contract from Lockheed in April this year, to deliver rudders and vertical leading edges eighth production lot of F-35.

Currently under development in three versions by Lockheed, the F-35 JSF is a fifth-generation multirole fighter aircraft designed to conduct an array of ground attack, reconnaissance and air defence missions with stealth capability.

The variants include a conventional take-off and landing aircraft for the US and allied air forces, a short take-off and landing fighter for the US Marine Corps and the Royal Navy, and a carrier version for the US Navy.

Image: An F-35C joint strike fighter conducts a test flight over the Chesapeake Bay, US. Photo: courtesy of Andy Wolfe.

Defence Technology