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LOS ANGELES, Feb. 17 /PRNewswire/ -- HITCO Carbon Composites, Inc., Gardena, California, U.S.A., a subsidiary of SGL Group - The Carbon Company, announced today that Lockheed Martin has signed a Letter of Intent (LOI) selecting HITCO to manufacture wing skins and other components for the F-35 Lightning II program.
HITCO will serve as a Strategic Competitive Supplier to Lockheed Martin and will support F-35 program requirements that designate the use of Bismaleimide (BMI) composite materials for upper and lower wing skins and nacelle skins using its Automated Fiber Placement (AFP) capabilities. This opportunity extends from Low Rate Initial Production (LRIP) through Full Rate Production (FRP). HITCO may also build the BMI aft and forward covers and upper wing skin covers.
"HITCO intends to utilize its Viper® 6000 Automated Fiber Placement (AFP) machine to manufacture the majority of these components. We can achieve more efficient and reliable fabrication of complex composite aircraft structures utilizing this state-of-the-art equipment. We will also build on the expertise HITCO has developed with BMI composite materials in our current work with Lockheed Martin," said Edward G. Carson, Executive Vice President. "HITCO and its parent, SGL Group, have made significant investments in automated manufacturing capacity within the last two years enabling HITCO to fulfill its mission of becoming a world-class, Tier II supplier to the aerospace industry," Carson concluded.
The F-35 Lightning II, also known as the Joint Strike Fighter, is a new single-seat, single-engine, supersonic stealth strike fighter capable of performing close air support, tactical bombing and air superiority missions. The aircraft is built in three different versions: a conventional take-off and landing (CTOL) aircraft, a short take-off and vertical landing (STOVL) variant and an aircraft carrier-based (CV) Model. The F-35 Lightning aircraft is designed and built by an industry team led by Lockheed Martin. Nine major partner nations including the United States, United Kingdom, Italy, the Netherlands, Canada, Turkey, Australia, Norway and Denmark plan to acquire over 3100 F-35 Lightning aircraft through 2035, making the F-35 one of the largest jet fighter programs in history.
About Lockheed Martin
Headquartered in Bethesda, MD, Lockheed Martin is a global security company that employs about 146,000 people worldwide and is principally engaged in the research, design, development, manufacture, integration and sustainment of advanced technology systems, products and services. The corporation reported 2008 sales of $42.7 billion.
About HITCO Carbon Composites, Inc.
HITCO Carbon Composites, Inc. was founded in 1922 and manufactures advanced composite materials primarily for aerospace and defense applications. HITCO continues to be an innovative leader in the advancement of carbon composite technologies, and continues to strategically focus within the SGL Group on new projects for aerospace/aircraft and defense applications.
About SGL Group - The Carbon Company
The SGL Group is one of the world's leading manufacturers of carbon-based products. It has a comprehensive portfolio ranging from carbon and graphite products to carbon fibers and composites. SGL Group's core competencies are its expertise in high-temperature technology as well as its applications and engineering know-how gained over many years. These competencies enable the Company to make full use of its broad material base. SGL Group's carbon-based materials combine several unique properties such as electrical and thermal conductivity, heat, and corrosion resistance as well as high mechanical strength combined with low weight. Due to the paradigm shift in the use of materials resulting from the worldwide shortage of energy and raw materials, there is a growing demand for SGL Group's high-performance materials and products from an increasing number of industries. Carbon and graphite products are used whenever other materials such as steel, aluminum, copper, plastics, wood etc., fail due to their limited properties. Products from the SGL Group are used predominately in the steel, aluminum, automotive, chemical and glass/ceramics industries. However, manufacturers in the semiconductor, battery, solar/wind energy, environmental protection, aerospace and defense industries as well as in the nuclear energy industry also figure among the Company's customers.
With 40 production sites in Europe, North America and Asia as well as a service network covering more than 100 countries, the SGL Group is a company with a global presence. In 2007, the Company's workforce of around 5,900 generated sales of 1.4 billion Euros. The Company's head office is located in Wiesbaden, Germany.
This press release contains statements on future developments that are based on currently available information and that involve risks and uncertainties that could lead to actual results deviating from these forward-looking statements. The statements on future developments are not to be understood as guarantees. The future developments and events are dependent on a number of factors; they include various risks and unanticipated circumstances and are based on assumptions that may not be correct. These risks and uncertainties include, for example, unforeseeable changes in political, economic and business conditions, particularly in the area of electrosteel production, the competitive situation, interest rate and currency developments, technological developments and other risks and unanticipated circumstances. We see other risks in price developments, unexpected developments relating to acquired and consolidated companies and in the ongoing cost optimization programs. SGL Group does not intend to update these forward-looking statements.
CONTACT: Mr. Edward G. Carson, Executive Vice President of HITCO Carbon Composites, Inc., +1-310-970-5825, fax, +1-310-769-2165, email@example.com; or Cecilia Haviland of Haviland Communications, Inc., +1-970-731-2370, fax, +1-970-731-0688, firstname.lastname@example.org for HITCO Carbon Composites, Inc.