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BAE Systems Scoops Manufacturing Industry Award


Samlesbury, United Kingdom - BAE Systems has scooped the award for Best Supplier Partnership at the Manufacturing Industry Awards held earlier this month.

The awards, hosted by the Manufacturing Technologies Association seek to recognise the success and significance of engineering based manufacturing in the UK. BAE Systems, in partnership with StarragHeckert, Fastems, TDM Systems and Nederman won the award in the Best Supplier Partnership category for delivering a highly flexible manufacturing system on the F-35 Lightning II programme.

The award recognises the success of a partnered approach in delivering a flexible system to support the manufacture of complex titanium parts for the F-35 Lightning II aircraft. The new state of the art machining facility based at BAE Systems Samlesbury is home to the world class, lean, fully integrated manufacturing system that maximises operator and machine efficiency.

Simon Bee, Head of Machining F-35, was part of the team who collected the award on the night. “To be a truly flexible system all aspects of the machining facility have to interact seamlessly which added an extra layer of complexity to the task. Add to that, the team behind the solution came from five different companies from across the globe. We had to ensure we worked side-by-side, day-by-day on the solution. High levels of communication and a trusting relationship across the team were key to delivering this project, without it we stood little chance of getting it right with the full manufacturing system..”

Chris Allam, Senior Vice President, F-35 commented: “BAE Systems’ expertise and innovation in manufacturing is one reason why we are a partner on the F-35 programme and continuing to push the boundaries and invest where appropriate is key to our future strategy. This enables us to retain vital manufacturing capabilities in the North West. The machining facility is a key investment and helps maintain BAE Systems and the UK at the forefront of advanced manufacturing.”

The flexible management system will help ensure BAE Systems ramps up production to achieve the challenging rate of producing one F-35 aircraft set every day, whilst maintaining the exacting quality targets required on the programme.

About BAE Systems involvement in the F-35 Lightning II programme

BAE Systems is responsible for the design and delivery of the aft fuselage and empennage (tails and fins) for each F-35 variant, as well as key areas of the vehicle and weapon systems, in particular the fuel system, crew escape, life support system and prognostics health management integration. The Company also has significant work share in autonomic logistics, primarily on the support system side, and is involved in the Integrated Test Force, including the systems flight test and mission systems.

The F-35 Lightning II programme is the world’s largest defence programme, with current stated requirements from initial customers for approximately 3,000 aircraft


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