Italy Invests in Joint Strike Fighter Program
FORT WORTH, TX, June 24th, 2002 -- The Joint Strike Fighter program extended its international reach today (June 24) when Italian officials signed a Memorandum of Understanding to participate in the development of the stealthy, multirole aircraft. The United Kingdom, Canada, Denmark, the Netherlands, and Norway joined the program previously. An international team led by Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Co., a business area of Lockheed Martin Corp. [NYSE:LMT], is under contract to develop the JSF for the armed forces of those nations, as well as for the United States Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps. Countries participating in the decade-long System Development and Demonstration (SDD) phase of the JSF program will have the opportunity to supply parts and systems, influence the aircraft's design and capabilities, and place representatives in the government's JSF Program Office.
"Italy presents the opportunity to infuse the JSF program with the country's impressive high-technology industry," said Tom Burbage, Lockheed Martin executive vice president and general manager of the JSF program. "Historically, Italian industry has been a great partner to Lockheed Martin, and certainly has the potential to bring 'best-value' work to the JSF program. We're delighted to have Italy on the JSF team."
Over the life of the program's SDD phase, Italy will contribute approximately $1 billion to the JSF's development.
Lockheed Martin officials said they look forward to welcoming Turkey to the F-35 JSF program on July 11.
The next-generation JSF is a stealthy (radar-evading), supersonic multirole fighter designed to meet the U.S. government's requirements for a new generation of transformational weapons. The single-engine JSF will be manufactured in three versions: a conventional-takeoff-and-landing (CTOL) variant for the U.S. Air Force, an aircraft-carrier version (CV) for the U.S. Navy, and a short-takeoff/vertical landing (STOVL) version for the U.S. Marine Corps. The United Kingdom is evaluating both the STOVL and CV versions. Most international interest is expected to focus on the CTOL model.
The cornerstone of JSF is affordability, achieved in large part through a very high level of common parts and systems across the three versions of the aircraft.
The JSF is designed to replace aging fighter inventories, including U.S. Air Force A-10s and F-16s, U.S. Navy F/A-18s, U.S. Marine Corps AV-8B Harriers and F/A-18s, and United Kingdom Harrier GR.7s and Sea Harriers.
Lockheed Martin is developing the JSF in conjunction with its principal partners, Northrop Grumman and BAE SYSTEMS. Pratt & Whitney and General Electric are developing two separate but interchangeable propulsion systems.
The JSF X-35 demonstrator aircraft completed a highly successful flight-test program in August 2001, and the U.S. government awarded the JSF development contract to Lockheed Martin the following October.
Lockheed Martin has a rich history of producing and co-producing fighter aircraft for international allies. More than 4,000 F-16s have been manufactured for 22 nations, and more than 2,800 F-104s were produced for 15 countries. Four countries have flown the F-104 in combat. The F-16 has flown combat missions for 10 nations.
Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Co., headquartered in Fort Worth, Texas, is a leader in the design, development, systems integration, production, and support of advanced military aircraft and related technologies. Its customers include the military services of the United States and allied countries throughout the world. Products include the F-16, F-22, F-35 JSF, F-117, C-5, C-27J, C-130, C-130J, P-3, S-3, and U-2.
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