Northrop Grumman Corporation’s Integrated Systems sector has selected Dutch firm Stork Aerospace to design, develop and produce more than 20 exterior doors on the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter that open and close during the course of a mission. The anticipated contract is expected to be worth approximately $55 million.
Stork Aerospace will produce the doors, which enable mission functions such as in-flight refuelling or weapons delivery, during the JSF program’s system development and demonstration phase.
Stork plans to manufacture and deliver all the doors by 2007. Integrated Systems, a principal teammate to JSF prime contractor Lockheed Martin, is responsible for detailed design and integration of the F-35’s centre fuselage and weapons bay.
According to Northrop Grumman, the doors on the F-35 are subject to extreme demands during aircraft operation and must be able to open and close at high speeds and under extreme conditions, even after decades of operation.
Stork will meet these demands using advanced design and production technologies, plus advanced composite materials. The use of composites will help ensure that no deformation occurs during flight. Stork Fokker will perform the work in Hoogeveen and Papendrecht, The Netherlands; Fort Worth, Texas, and El Segundo.
‘Stork Fokker’s superior engineering and prototype work on the F-35 JSF flight moveable doors adds critical value to this challenging program,’ said Erick Vink, vice president of Stork Aerospace. ‘This work also provides a significant advance in high-end aerospace technology for the entire Dutch aerospace industry.’