F-35 Navy Version Undergoes Successful Design Review, Readies For Production

Jun 27, 2007, 01:00 ET from Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company

    FORT WORTH, Texas, June 27 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- The U.S. Navy's
 F-35C Lightning II carrier variant has completed its Air System Critical
 Design Review (CDR), a significant development milestone that verifies the
 design maturity of the aircraft and its associated systems. The review was
 conducted June 18-22 at Lockheed Martin (NYSE:   LMT) in Fort Worth, and
 involved officials from Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR), the Joint
 Strike Fighter Program Office, the F-35 international-participant nations
 and the F-35 contractor team. Completion of the CDR is a prerequisite for
 the F-35C to move into Low Rate Initial Production.
     (Photo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20070627/LAW111)
     "We're pleased with the CDR results, which reinforce our confidence in
 the F-35C's design," said Dan Crowley, Lockheed Martin executive vice
 president and F-35 program manager. "The review highlighted the program's
 development progress and the 5th generation capabilities that the carrier
 variant will bring to the Navy."
     "Completion of this design review is a very significant milestone --
 the die is now fully cast for the unique, three-variant Joint Strike
 Fighter program envisioned when the planning began in the late 1990s," said
 JSF Program Executive Officer Brig. Gen. C.R. Davis. "This is a momentous
 day never seen in another acquisition program in history. The entire team
 should be proud of the work that got us here today."
     Terry Harrell, Lockheed Martin director of F-35 carrier variant
 development, added, "We met our objectives for detailed design and
 performance while removing more than 200 pounds from the aircraft in the
 past seven months -- a major accomplishment. Getting the design ready for
 this important milestone required tremendous teamwork among NAVAIR, the
 Joint Strike Fighter Program Office, Air Force Materiel Command's
 Aeronautical Systems Center and the entire JSF contractor team."
     The F-35C will be the Navy's first stealth aircraft. It is designed to
 replace the F/A-18 Hornet and complement the newer F/A-18E/F Super Hornet.
 While it shares its fundamental design with the F-35A (conventional takeoff
 and landing) and F-35B (short takeoff/vertical landing), the F-35C is
 specialized for the catapult launches and arrested recoveries of large
 aircraft carriers. It features 30 percent more wing area than the other two
 variants, larger tails and control surfaces, and wingtip ailerons -- all
 contributing to the precise slow-speed handling characteristics required
 for carrier approaches. The F-35C's internal structure is strengthened to
 withstand the punishment of repeated catapult launches and arrested
 recoveries on the carrier deck.
     Funding for the first two production-model Lightning IIs -- both
 conventional takeoff and landing versions -- is approved and fabrication
 for those aircraft has begun. The pair of F-35A aircraft are the first of
 1,763 scheduled for delivery to the U.S. Air Force, beginning in 2010. The
 U.S. Marine Corps and Navy together are planning to operate 680 F-35Bs and
 F-35Cs, and the United Kingdom plans to place 138 F-35Bs into service with
 the Royal Air Force and Royal Navy. The remaining F-35 participant
 countries plan to acquire more than 700 aircraft.
     The F-35 is a supersonic, multi-role, 5th generation stealth fighter
 designed to replace a wide range of existing aircraft, including AV-8B
 Harriers, A-10s, F-16s, F/A-18 Hornets and United Kingdom Harrier GR.7s and
 Sea Harriers.
     Lockheed Martin is developing the F-35 Lightning II with its principal
 industrial partners, Northrop Grumman and BAE Systems. Two separate,
 interchangeable F-35 engines are under development: the Pratt & Whitney
 F135 and the GE Rolls-Royce Fighter Engine Team F136.
     Headquartered in Bethesda, Md., Lockheed Martin employs about 140,000
 people worldwide and is principally engaged in the research, design,
 development, manufacture, integration and sustainment of advanced
 technology systems, products and services. The corporation reported 2006
 sales of $39.6 billion.
     F-35 and Lightning II are trademarks of Lockheed Martin Corporation.
     For additional information, visit our Web site:
     An F-35 electronic media kit is available at:
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SOURCE Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company