15 December 2006

Smiths Aerospace systems on F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter first flight

SMITHS Aerospace, part of the global technology business Smiths Group, played a key role in providing avionics systems for Lockheed Martins successful first flight of the F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter aircraft today.

Smiths Aerospace provides important systems to the aircraft including the electrical power management system, distributed computing and data management, actuation systems and components in the propulsion system.

John Ferrie, President of Smiths Aerospace, said: The first flight of the F-35 is a historic event and our employees share in the pride felt by Lockheed Martin. We provide extensive capabilities from across all of our businesses including leading edge digital, mechanical and electrical power technologies, engine components and customer services.

The first F-35 aircraft successfully completed its maiden flight from Ft. Worth Texas today. Lockheed Martin test pilot Jon Beesley conducted the flight, which lasted approximately one hour.

Smiths Aerospace provides the following systems (depending on the variant) on the F-35 JSF valued between $6 - 7 billion over the lifetime of the aircraft:

Electrical power management system, remote input / output data concentrator units, standby flight display system (Cheltenham UK)

Weapons control and data management (Michigan, Maryland and Florida)

Engine and debris monitoring system and airframe strain and stress models (Southampton UK)

LiftFan hose and tube system (New Hampshire and Massachusetts)

Actuation systems and components included in the propulsion system and airframe (California, New Jersey, Indiana, Washington, Connecticut and Wolverhampton UK)

Canopy frame (Hamble UK)

Smiths Aerospace is also supplying F-35 performance-based logistics (PBL) support in a selection by Lockheed Martin Aeronautics in May 2005.

In addition, Smiths Interconnect, another part of the global technology business Smiths Group, was selected to provide broadband cable assemblies with a total contract value of $500 million over the life of the programme.

The F-35 is a supersonic, multi-role stealth fighter designed to replace a number of aging fighter and strike aircraft. The F-35 and the Lockheed Martin F-22 are the worlds only fifth generation fighters, combining stealth with supersonic performance, advanced sensor fusion, greatly expanded capacity for interoperability and dramatic reductions in operation and support costs.

Two separate, interchangeable engines are currently under development for the F-35: the Pratt & Whitney F135 turbofan and the F136 turbofan from the GE Rolls-Royce Fighter Engine Team. Each engine produces 40,000 pounds of thrust, which will make the F-35 the most powerful single-engine fighter ever to fly.

ENDS

About the F-35: The F-35 will be the single most important new military aircraft to be produced over the next 30 years. The F-35 market consists of 2,581 aircraft for the U.S. Air Force, U.S. Navy, U.S. Marine Corps, Royal Navy and Royal Air Force. Up to an additional 2,000 aircraft are expected to be sold for export. Low Rate Initial Production (LRIP) will commence in 2007 followed by full-rate production of the aircraft beginning in 2013 continuing beyond 2027.

About Smiths Aerospace F-35 systems
Standby Flight Display System: The standby display system independently displays attitude, altitude, airspeed, vertical velocity and angle of attack. The display system is centrally located in the cockpit front panel and incorporates fully agile performance.

Weapons Control: The fuselage remote interface units will provide the interface between the avionics and all weapon stations. The units supply the distribution of GPS signals to weapons, as well as performing the weapons arming, release and emergency jettison functions. The missile remote interface units adapt the industry standard weapons interface to unique missile interface types. The pylon remote interface units adapt the industry standard weapons interface to legacy weapon interface types. The bomb rack power module supplied is a high-pressure pneumatic manifold and bottle storage device helping to manage the pneumatic discharge system of the weapons delivery. A pneumatic reversible, in-flight locking actuator is also included.

LiftFan hose and tube system: Smiths will supply all of the rigid tubes and flexible hoses for the hydraulic and lubrication systems of the F-35 LiftFan. The LiftFan is used exclusively on the short-takeoff/vertical-landing (STOVL) variant of the F-35. This, combined with a vectoring rear engine nozzle, produces the lifting force necessary for short takeoffs, vertical landings and hovering.

Electrical Power Management System: The electrical power management system will provide the primary and secondary electrical distribution and control and backup battery capability throughout the aircraft.

Engine Rings: The exhaust containment ring for the F-35 provides the interface of the power plant to exhaust nozzle and the sync rings control flap and seal actuation for the after burn.

Actuation Systems: The actuation systems include the horizontal tail centering actuators and three bearing swivel duct actuation system at the rear of the aircraft and the variable area nozzle and inlet guide vanes, which control airflow through the forward lift fan on the short-takeoff/vertical landing F-35.

Remote Input/Output Units: The ten remote input/output units per aircraft provide the primary analogue to digital conversion of the sensor and effector interfaces to the vehicle sub-systems. The units also transmit and receive data and commands to the vehicle management computers via multiple high-speed serial data busses.

Canopy Frame: The canopy frame is a lightweight structure consisting of complex machining and composite components.

Aircraft Memory System: The aircraft memory system includes data transfer cartridges and data receptacles for data upload and gathering of (mission and usage) data.