UTC Aerospace Systems, a unit of United Technologies Corp., announced that it is expanding its U.K.-based MRO service capabilities to support the F-35 Lightning II fighter aircraft.
The company is a key supplier to the F-35, providing a range of content including electric and actuation systems, landing gear and air data management sensing technology. The first four of the 138 F-35B’s that the U.K. Ministry of Defence (MoD) has committed to purchasing arrived at RAF Marham in June.
In the U.K., UTC Aerospace Systems designs, manufactures and services the fighter’s Weapons Bay Door Drive System (WBDDS) along with a range of utility actuation parts for all three F-35 variants. The Wolverhampton site is currently the only one in the world capable of servicing the WBDDS—a system of more than 60 components that serves as an integral part of the F-35, specifically designed to open and close the WBDDS within seconds to allow the aircraft to maintain its stealth signature.
UTC Aerospace Systems is supporting Sealand Support Services Limited (SSSL)—a joint venture of the U.K. government-owned Defence Electronics and Components Agency (DECA), BAE Systems and Northrop Grumman—in its bid to win a European MRO contract from the F-35 Joint Program Office (JPO). Under the first phase of the JPO’s bid, RFI 1, SSSL won the right to service a number of F-35 components, including UTC Aerospace Systems electric power systems components.
In conjunction with its support for SSSL, UTC Aerospace Systems is planning to stand up F-35 electric power system MRO capability at SSSL’s facility at the DECA Sealand site in North Wales. As the industry leader in electric power systems, UTC Aerospace Systems provides several integral systems for the F-35, the most electric combat plane flying. These systems include the F-35’s electric starter-generator as well as other electronic power conversion and control units.
“We look forward to continuing our partnership with the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter Program Office and our international partners to support the activation and sustainment of global maintenance, repair and overhaul capabilities for the F-35,” said UTC Aerospace Systems Military Aftermarket General Manager Matt Milas.