ATK expands composites work on F-35 Lightning II

ATK will use fiber placement technology to produce upper wing box skins, lower wing box skins and engine nacelle skins for lots 4-8 of the Joint Strike Fighter; ATK also won a separate contract to make composite inlet ducts for the F-35.

Alliant Techsystems (ATK, Minneapolis, Minn.) announced on April 26 that it has received a contract in excess of $240 million from Lockheed Martin to produce additional composite components for low rate initial production (LRIP) lots 4 - 8 of the F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter. Under the terms of the contract with Lockheed Martin, ATK will use advanced fiber-placement technology to provide upper wing-box skins, lower wing-box skins, and engine nacelle skins for the conventional take-off and landing (CTOL), and short take-off/vertical landing (STOVL) variants of the F-35. Production will take place at ATK's Clearfield, Utah, facility beginning in 2010, and continuing through 2015.

Separately, the company announced that it has successfully expanded its content on the F-35. ATK has received a new $10 million contract from Northrop Grumman to manufacture composite inlet ducts for the F-35. Northrop Grumman is the design authority and primary producer of the inlet ducts and has contracted ATK as a second source supplier for inlet duct production. ATK will begin manufacturing inlet ducts during the LRIP phase 4 of the program, with deliveries occurring through mid-2011. The follow-on, full-scale production phase of the contract is potentially worth an additional $40 million. Production of the inlet ducts will take place at ATK's facility in Rocket Center, W.V.

"The F-35 is a cornerstone of ATK's growth strategy for our aerospace structures business. Combined with existing work on commercial aircraft such as the Airbus A350, and the potential of new composite contracts for both military and commercial aircraft, our Aerospace Structures business is well positioned to become one of ATK's growth engines," said Mark DeYoung, President and CEO.