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Lockheed Martin has signed a Letter of Intent (LOI) to award HITCO Carbon Composites a contract to produce wing skins and nacelle skins for the F-35 Lightning II Program.
“HITCO will utilize its state-of-the-art production and testing equipment, particularly the Automated Fiber Placement (AFP) machine and the new large autoclave, to manufacture these components. We will also build on the processing expertise we have developed with BMI composite materials during our track record of performance with Lockheed Martin on the F-22 program. HITCO and its parent company, SGL Group, continue to invest in automated manufacturing capability at the Gardena site, enabling HITCO to achieve its goal of becoming a world-class Tier II supplier to the aerospace industry. We look forward to a long business relationship with Lockheed Martin on the F-35 program well beyond the initial five year contract term,” said Peter M. Hoffman, HITCO President.
The F-35 Lightning II, also known as the Joint Strike Fighter, is a new single-seat, single-engine, supersonic stealth strike fighter capable of performing close air support, tactical bombing and air superiority missions.
The aircraft is built in three different versions: a conventional take-off and landing (CTOL) aircraft, a short take-off and vertical landing (STOVL) variant and an aircraft carrier-based (CV) model.
The F-35 Lightning aircraft is designed and built by an industry team led by Lockheed Martin.
Estimated demand is said to be up to 3,100 between now and 2035.
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