What is the F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter?
The F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) program is the single largest military program in history. The United States alone intends to buy a total of 2,443 aircraft for an estimated US$323 billion. While the United States is the primary customer and financial backer, the United Kingdom, Italy, the Netherlands, Canada, Turkey, Australia, Norway, Denmark, Japan, Israel and more recently South Korea have joined the program. The nine major partner nations plan to acquire over 3,100 F-35s through to 2035.
Contrary to recent media speculation that the JSF program could be jeopardised by cost increases, production and testing of the F-35 aircraft is continuing to ramp up and is progressing well.
On 24 July 2014, the first two Australian F-35 aircraft were rolled out of the Lockheed Martin factory in Fort Worth, Texas. Click here to see a video of the Roll Out Ceremony.
For more information relating to the Joint Strike Fighter Program click on this link to the JSF website.
For more information on Quickstep manufacturing on Joint Strike Fighter parts click here.
Additional information links on the JSF program and Australia's involvement:
Quickstep's participation in the JSF program
In November 2009 Quickstep announced the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Northrop Grumman and Lockheed Martin Corporation to manufacture advanced composite parts for the F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter aircraft over the estimated 20 year life of the program.
This day marked a defining shift in Quickstep's history, enabling the Company to enter the highest levels of technology supply to the defence industry - the 5th Generation Stealth F-35 Joint Strike Fighter.
After signing the MoU, Quickstep immediately embarked on a program to prepare its manufacturing facility for JSF manufacturing, and in February 2011 signed a Long Term Agreement (LTA) providing a formal framework under which Quickstep will participate in an international supply chain for the production of F-35 composites subassemblies, with parts to be delivered to Northrop Grumman’s assembly operations in the USA.
The Company received its first Purchase Order in July 2011, covering production of Group 1 JSF components over an initial 12 month period, and shipped its first production part more than a month ahead of schedule in October 2011.
Since these initial deliveries, purchase orders, qualification and deliveries for Group 2 and 3 components have been achieved with regular part manufacturing now well underway.
Under the long term agreement with Northrop Grumman, Quickstep will supply a number of different F-35 components, including lower side skins, maintenance access panels, fuel tank covers and lower skins, projected to amount to some 36,000+ parts over the life of the program and could generate hundreds of millions of dollars of revenue over the life of the aircraft.
Recently Quickstep announced the start of a new phase in Production comprising of the manufacture of F-35 Vertical Fin composite components for Marand. Qualification for this work package will be achieved by working directly with BAE. This work package includes the composite skins, internal spars and fairings comprising 18 parts per shipset with 700 shipsets to be delivered. The qualification work starts in the first quarter of 2014 and will see first part deliveries to Marand in 2015.
Find more information on the F-35 Lightning II JSF program at: