F-35 JSF

Northrop Grumman has signed a long-term agreement (LTA) with Terma for the production of composite components for the F-35 Lightning II joint strike fighter (JSF) aircraft.

Valued at a potential $97m following the completion of all follow-on options, the LTA involves the development of 34 unique F-35 fighter’s composite components, such as door, panel, skin assembly and straps.

Northrop Grumman F-35 programme vice president Michelle Scarpella said the LTA will further strengthen the company’s relationship with Terma and also with Denmark, which is an F-35 partner nation.

Terma, which is responsible for the manufacture of all three F-35 aircraft variants’ hardware, secured the first F-35 purchase order during the low rate initial production 1 (LRIP 1) statement of work in 2007.

Serving as a principal partner of Lockheed Martin-led F-35 industry team, Northrop develops the fighter’s centre fuselage besides design and production of F-35’s radar and key avionics, such as electro-optical and communications subsystems, mission systems and mission-planning software.

Manufacturing work under the LTA is scheduled to run until 2019.

Currently under development by prime contractor, Lockheed, the F-35 Lightning II JSF is a fifth generation multirole fighter designed to conduct ground attack, reconnaissance, and air defence missions.

The aircraft is being manufactured in three variants, which include a conventional takeoff and landing (CTOL) variant for the US and other air forces, a carrier variant (CV) for the US Navy and a short take-off and vertical landing (STOVL) aircraft for the US Marine Corps and the UK Royal Navy.

Image: An F-35A CTOL aircraft being towed. Photo: courtesy of X360.