Extended F-35 facility opens in UK

The latest phase of the new F-35 manufacturing facility at Samlesbury in Lancashire has opened.

March 23: Production on the F-35 programme reached another milestone at BAE Systems on March 22 with the opening of the latest phase of the new F-35 manufacturing facility at Samlesbury in Lancashire.

As part of the company’s £150 million investment in the F-35 programme at Samlesbury, when fully completed the facility will enable workers to produce one F-35 aft fuselage set every day, compared to the current rate of one set per week. The extension is the second part of a three-phase expansion plan to the facility as the programme gears up for peak rate production by 2016.

Chris Allam, Senior Vice President on the F-35 programme said “The facility opening is an exciting development in the F-35 story at Samlesbury. F-35 is an important programme for BAE Systems and the capabilities that this facility provides are equal to anywhere in the world. We’re using state of the art machines and manufacturing techniques to ensure we can meet the rates of production that the F-35 programme demands. It’s fair to say that this facility is proof that we’re standing up to that challenge and we’re keeping ourselves at the forefront of UK manufacturing.”

Along with being responsible for the design and delivery of the aft fuselage and empennage for each of the three F-35 variants, BAE Systems also plays a key role in other areas including vehicle and mission systems, life support system and prognostics health management integration. The Company also has significant work share in autonomic logistics and has a role in the Integrated Test Force in America including two BAE Systems pilots flight testing the F-35 as part of Team JSF. BAE Systems employs almost 2000 employees on the F-35 programme.

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