At the roll-out event of the first operational Dutch F-35 in Fort Worth, Texas, GKN Fokker and Lockheed Martin Aeronautics confirmed continuation of GKN Fokker’s efforts on F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter specific to manufacturing flaperons, inflight opening doors (IFOD), arresting gear, and electrical wiring and interconnection systems (EWIS). Production will take place at GKN Fokker’s sites in The Netherlands and Turkey with delivery taking place during the next five years.
The protocol document was signed by Lockheed Martin’s Vice President of F-35 Supply Chain Management Drew Ruiz and by GKN Fokker’s CEO John Pritchard.
State Secretary of Economic Affairs Mona Keijzer, Royal Netherlands Air Force Commander-in-Chief, Lt. Gen. Dennis Luyt, and the Netherlands’ Special Envoy for industrial participation, Maxime Verhagen all attended the ceremony.
GKN Fokker has been a valued supplier on the F-35 program since 2002 and has produced and delivered the flaperons, IFOD, arresting gear, and designed and produced the EWIS for all F-35 aircraft currently flying and in production.
Pritchard said, “Our deliveries have supported more than 350 F-35s ... With a total estimated production of more than 3,000 F-35 aircraft, this is a major opportunity for our company in the decades to come in terms of employment, knowledge, and innovation.”
“Dutch industry has already been awarded 1.5 billion euros of production orders. This amount will grow significantly in the years to come. The upcoming sustainment phase of the F-35 will offer a unique opportunity for our industry to position itself as the partner of choice for sustainment orders,” Verhagen added.