GKN Aerospace announced today the first delivery of F-35 Lightning II wheels and brakes assemblies serviced and maintained at its GKN Fokker landing gear facility in The Netherlands. This delivery marks the first shipset of its contract to service and maintain wheels, brakes and strut assemblies for the F-35 fleet in Europe. GKN Aerospace’s Fokker business received the contract award to maintain and service the F-35 landing gear from the Joint Program Office due to its extensive experience in landing gear maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) in other platforms including the F-16 and the NH-90 helicopter.
Along with maintenance activities, the landing gear business is also involved in the design and manufacturing of the F-35 arresting gear and the development of the F-35 composite landing gear drag brace. GKN Aerospace has been involved in the F-35 program since the start and has designed and manufactured electrical wiring interconnected systems, flaperons, in-flight opening doors, cockpit canopy, air frame parts and arresting gear for all F-35 aircraft.
Shawn Black, President of GKN Aerospace Defence Business said: ”This is a tremendous step in expanding the F-35 industrial base while shortening maintenance times in Europe and increasing international partnership in the program. We look forward to continuing our work with Lockheed Martin in supporting this vital multi-role fighter in Europe and the Pacific.”
In 2016, GKN Aerospace’s Fokker Landing Gear was chosen by the F-35 Joint Program Office (JPO) to maintain and service landing gear components for the European F-35 fleet. The 10-year, nonexclusive agreement between Honeywell and GKN Aerospace will cover the entire European market and bring significant benefits to both current and future owners and operators of the F-35. This agreement will substantially reduce the logistical footprint of supporting the regional fleet with a Netherlands-based depot, thus resulting in a lower cost of ownership for F-35 operators. As part of the license agreement, GKN Aerospace will provide repair, overhaul and maintenance of Honeywell’s wheels and brakes covering all variants of the F-35.