HITCO Carbon Composites (Los Angeles, Calif., USA), a subsidiary of SGL Group – The Carbon Company (Wiesbaden, Germany), on Dec. 13 announced that it is a recipient of the 2011 Defense Manufacturing Technology (ManTech) Achievement Award for its work on the F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) Program.
HITCO worked as a member of a team that included: Navy ManTech, Lockheed Martin Aeronautical Co., Cytec Engineered Materials (Scottsdale, Ariz., USA), MAG IAS LLC (Erlanger, Ky., USA), Composites Manufacturing Technology Center and the Joint Strike Fighter Program Office. The goal of the team was to optimize the automated fiber placement (AFP) process for fabricating carbon fiber/bismaleimide composites in order to enhance JSF productivity and affordability. Of the more than 100 funded ManTech projects this year, 10 received nominations for the 2011 Award. The HITCO team was selected for the award among the 5 finalists.
The award, sponsored by the Joint Defense Manufacturing Technology Panel (JDMTP), seeks to recognize and honor those individuals for outstanding technical accomplishments in achieving the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) ManTech Program vision to “realize a responsive world-class manufacturing capability to affordably meet Warfighters’ needs throughout the defense system life cycle.” The award was presented by Brett Lambert, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Manufacturing and Industrial Base Policy.
“We are honored to be a member of the winning ManTech team,” says HITCO president Anthony Lawson. “Through the diligent work of our people and our team members, we were able to meet or exceed all of the project’s goals. Along with the support of our parent company, SGL Group, we continue to invest in capabilities, people, equipment and facilities to deliver high quality composite components to the industry.”
"This award exemplifies MAG's dedication to, and expertise in, improving manufacturing equipment and processes," said Randy Kappesser, vice president of Composite Technologies at MAG. "Our cryogenic machining technology has also been deemed a cost-reducer on the titanium cutting side of the F-35 project, and we'll introduce new cryogenic technology for composites cutting early next year."
In selecting the HITCO team for this award, the Defense ManTech Office cited the economic impact of this project. In return for a Navy ManTech investment of $3.7 million (USD) for the project, the JSF Program expects to realize cost savings estimated at $100 million during the next 20 years. HITCO has a multi-decade long track record of supplying composite components to Lockheed Martin production programs, beginning with Radomes for the C-130 Hercules family of transports; continuing with manufacture of composite components for the F-22 Raptor; and most recently wing skins, nacelle skins and other components for JSF.