Terma Is Ready for Full-Rate F-35 Production
ARLINGTON, Va.— Terma has marked another milestone as supplier to the F-35 program, having modified and optimized its entire factory layout since October 2015, the company said in an Oct. 12 release. For example, the internal transport distances have been reduced by 50 percent.
Terma entered into the first development contract with General Dynamics 15 years ago for the design and development of a gun pod for the F-35B and C versions. In the meantime, many efforts and a lot of money have been invested in transferring Terma/Grenaa into one of Europe’s most advanced manufacturing facilities for the production of carbon fiber and composite aerostructures. In concert, Terma has entered into contracts on eight additional programs for the world’s largest defense industrial project, F-35 Lightning II, with Lockheed Martin as the main contractor.
A new bonding facility has been established in a 4,000-square-meter newly constructed factory building. In this facility, the “raw” carbon fiber materials are cut and, by use of laser positioning equipment, laid up in tools and prepared to be cured in one of three major autoclaves. To ensure the right quality, all parts are subsequently scanned in the newly acquired five-axis ultrasound scanner. A new large tool storage area has also been established as well as a new automatic cold store for raw materials.
Further, the capacity for manufacturing of aerostructures has doubled with the acquisition of new machining centers (Precision Milling Machines) and high-precision measuring equipment.
With the support of the Northern Djursland Municipality in Denmark, education center Viden Djurs and a number of local businesses, the project has been completed on time and within budget, and during the same period, we have recruited approximately 80 new employees, primarily from the local area.
By 2021, when F-35 production reaches full-rate production of approximately 150 aircraft per year, total staff is expected to have increased by 130 to 150 to almost 500 employees.
The completion of the second of a total of three construction phases was marked by a gathering at the manufacturing facility, with speeches by Mayor Jan Petersen of the Northern Djursland Municipality, senior vice president, Aerostructures Manufacturing Jørgen Laursen and Terma’s executive vice president and chief financial operations officer Per Thiesen.
The last phase of the comprehensive transformation of the company will be launched in 2018 and includes new cafeteria and changing facilities.In addition to Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company and General Dynamics, Terma collaborates with Northrop Grumman Corporation, BAE Systems, Marvin Engineering Company, and UTC Aerospace Systems on the production of parts and electronics for the F-35 program.
In 2016, Denmark decided to acquire 27 new F-35As as replacement for the current F-16s. In total, it is expected to produce up to 3,000 aircraft by 2030.