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© Lockheed Martin Electronics Production | July 10, 2014

Kitron, Danish Aerotech & Kongsberg in the F-35

Global partnerships and technological innovation are the base for the F-35 Lightning II. Several countries are involved in the manufacturing project.
Defense companies, and their suppliers, have their work cut out for the next few years. The production program sees more than 3,100 aircraft to be built through 2039. Analysts believe that the F-35 will contribute more than USD 380 billion to the global economy over the life of the program, writes Lockheed Martin (one of the partners).

And in the - admittedly - rather select list of partners we found some interesting names.

Several Danish companies, including Terma, Systematic, Printca Graphic and Danish Aerotech, are involved in the production. Danish companies are currently making parts such as pylons, advanced composites, software solutions, radar components and horizontal tail edges, on every single F-35 in production. On a side note; the fire that halted production in Aalborg this week will have changed the game for Printca Graphic a little. It will depend on how quick the company can get the production ramped up and get certifications in order again.

Norwegian industry is involved in the production of high technology components for the F-35, such as the aircraft rudder, air-to-air pylon, vertical fin leading edge, advanced composite skins for the center fuselage and assembly and coating of the horizontal and vertical fins. They also fabricate and assemble key electronic components within the F-35 Mission Systems. Companies awarded F-35 contracts include Kongsberg Defence Systems, Kitron, AIM Norway and Applica.

The U.K. industry will build 15 percent of each F-35, with key components - such as aft fuselage, fuel system, crew escape system - being produced by BAE Systems, GE Aviation, Martin-Baker, SELEX, Cobham, Ultra Electronics, UTC Actuation Systems and Rolls-Royce.

Italy and The Netherlands are also in on the F35 project, with peak production, with wings, communication and navigation equipment, advanced rail launchers and final assembly and check out of completed F-35’s (that would be Italy) and high-volume production of composites, bonded assemblies, and aircraft wiring being awarded to 25 Dutch suppliers.

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