(KUTV) -- A celebration took place Tuesday upon the completion of the 5,000th F-35 composite part with a gathering at the Orbital ATK manufacturing facility in Clearfield, Utah.
Orbital ATK manufactures the parts for the F-35 at its 403,000-square-foot Freeport Composite Center. The 5,000 composite parts equate to approximately 430 ship sets that support the United States and international forces, a news release stated.
Orbital ATK's Aerospace Structures Division facility currently produces almost 90 percent of the upper and lower wing skins, engine nacelles, access covers and fixed skins for the F-35 Lightning II -- an all-weather stealth multirole combat aircraft.
Janicki Industries machines the parts to engineering requirements. The parts are delivered to support the prime contractor, Lockheed Martin, as well as its international suppliers, the news release said,
“This milestone not only reflects our long-term partnership with Lockheed Martin on the F-35 program, it also showcases the growth of composite manufacturing in Utah as Orbital ATK has added over 500 jobs in the past two years and expects to add many more jobs over the next 20 years,” said Steve Earl, vice president and general manager of Orbital ATK’s Aerospace Structures Division, in a press release. “With the hands-on training and stable future we offer, these positions provide an opportunity to develop high-tech skills to build a long-term career that provides a sustainable living in the aerospace industry.”
Orbital ATK was awarded a contract in 2017 to also produce bullnose and blade seals for the F-35.