GKN Aerospace’s business unit Fokker has been chosen to maintain and service the landing gear for the F-35 fleet in Europe and the Pacific. The Dutch Ministry of Defence announced the selection today in a press release. The F-35 Joint Program Office in the USA announced in a press conference that the F-35 landing gear maintenance has been assigned to the Netherlands. It is the first time that maintenance work for the F-35 fleet in Europe and the Pacific has been awarded. The potential value amounts to tens of millions of dollars over the lifetime of the program.
The selection covers the maintenance of wheels, brakes and shock strut assemblies of the F-35 landing gear, starting in 2021. GKN Aerospace’s Fokker business unit has many years of landing gear related experience in maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) of amongst others the F-16 landing gear and the NH90 helicopter landing gear. As well as the maintenance activities, the landing gear business is also involved in the design and manufacture of the F-35 arresting gear and in the development of the F-35 composite landing gear drag brace.
Hans Büthker, CEO of GKN Aerospace’s Fokker business unit, said: “Together with our partners, we are proud to expand the industrial participation to the F-35 maintenance phase. This represents the next and exciting step in the F-35 program, on which we can continue to build in the years to come. F-35 maintenance will create long-term employment for skilled technical employees in the aerospace industry.”
GKN Aerospace has been involved in the F-35 program since the start and has designed and manufactured electrical wiring interconnection systems, flaperons, in-flight opening doors, cockpit canopy, air frame parts, engine parts and arresting gear for all F-35 aircraft that are currently flying and in production.