GKN Aerospace to produce composite components for X-47B

1/11/2006 12:00 AM
Aerospace - Aerostructures

GKN Aerospace to produce composite components for Northrop Grumman's X-47B Joint Unmanned Combat Aircraft. It was confirmed today that GKN Aerospace is to produce the composite skins, covers and doors for Northrop Grumman's X-47B Joint Unmanned Combat Air Systems (J-UCAS) aircraft. Should the X-47B enter full production, the total value of the contract would exceed $500M.

The graphite composite skins, which will cover nearly 90% of the unmanned vehicles' surface, will be manufactured at GKN Aerospace's St. Louis, Missouri facility alongside the actuated doors for the vehicle, including the weapon's bay, nose and main landing gear doors.

James J. Fitzsimmons, President & CEO of GKN Aerospace - Aerostructures comments: "We are pleased to be a member of the X-47B Team. GKN Aerospace has unrivalled core capabilities in integrated aerostructure design and manufacture which we will bring to bear in our partnership with Northrop Grumman on this critical future platform."

GKN Aerospace is also responsible for the design, tooling and manufacture of the outboard wing and the forward centre fuselage section of the air vehicle. The outboard wings of the aircraft are of composite, aluminium and titanium design with the centre fuselage being of aluminium design. The outer wing and fuselage sections of the X-47B will be designed at GKN's Nashville, Tennessee Engineering Development Center which has full design authority for these sections of the air vehicle. Tool design and tool management will be accomplished at GKN's Engineering Development Center in Meridian, Connecticut. All production and customer support activities will be handled through GKN's facilities in St. Louis, Missouri.