BAE Systems is teamed with Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman to deliver the F-35 Lightning II – the world’s largest defence programme.
The aft fuselage and empennage for each F-35 Lightning II are being designed, manufactured and assembled by BAE Systems, setting new standards for assembly precision and pace. Digital design and precision manufacturing techniques pioneered by BAE Systems ensure the F-35 meets its demanding stealth requirements.
BAE Systems is also responsible for the design and delivery of key areas of the vehicle and mission systems, including the fuel system, crew escape and life support system as well as Prognostics Health Management (PHM) integration and UK aircraft carrier integration. BAE Systems also brings key expertise to Autonomic Logistics and Global Sustainment (support), UK weapons integration, vehicle and mission systems, flight test support and structural testing.
An extension to the teaming agreement signed by BAE Systems and Lockheed Martin sets out BAE Systems Military Air Solutions role in the sustainment phase of the programme. BAE Systems is playing a vital role in developing the F-35 global sustainment model and will lead sustainment activities for the UK fleet on behalf of the F-35 team.
The short take off and vertical landing (STOVL) heritage that BAE Systems gained from the Harrier programme is significantly important to the success of the F-35 programme; especially for the STOVL variant.
The expertise involved in the production of the unique and complicated manufacturing processes involved in the production of the STOVL aircraft are supported by the expertise of BAE Systems’ people.
BAE Systems’ test pilot Graham Tomlinson was selected to fly the first STOVL aircraft, BF-1, and to be the lead test pilot for the STOVL flight test programme due to both BAE Systems’ and Graham’s personal STOVL experience. Graham, a former Royal Air Force pilot, has extensive experience of flying the Harrier aircraft.
BAE Systems Inc. in the United States of America also brings key capabilities to the F-35 programme and delivers significant elements of the programme including electronic warfare, advanced low observable apertures, advanced countermeasure systems, vehicle management computer and active inceptor systems.