Martin-Baker has completed the first production configuration US16E Ejection Seat for their F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) aircraft for the partner nations. The US16E is the only ejection Seat in the world that has demonstrated compliance to the entire range of accommodation, physiological and ejection performance requirements for the JSF programme.
The Royal Air Force (RAF) is the first JSF partner nation scheduled to receive a production configuration Lockheed Martin (LM) F-35 Lightning II aircraft; the first UK aircraft is known as BK-1.
To mark this occasion, Wg Cdr Willy Hackett RAF and Lt Cdr Uves Wood RN from the Joint Combat Aircraft (JCA) Integrated Product Team (IPT) at Abbeywood, visited Denham on the 24th May 2011. They are pictured below with James Martin, Joint Managing Director of Martin-Baker.
Wg Cdr Hackett explained “Next year RAF and RN pilots will begin flying our first 2 JSF aircraft at Eglin Air Force Base in the US in a pooled arrangement with the USMC, as part of the preparations to build a UK Test and Evaluation Squadron, which will allow UK participation in JSF Operational Test at Edwards Air Force Base. This will be key to ensuring the UK fully understands how this 5th Generation aircraft performs and operates so that we can eventually use F-35 at a time and place of our choosing. For a pilot flying a complex combat aircraft their Ejection Seat is, in the end, critical to their ability to safely exit a stricken aircraft and return home to their families. Martin-Baker, with decades of experience and a proven track record of saving over 7400 lives has been chosen on a best value basis, as the sole supplier of ejection seats for the JSF programme, ensuring that our pilots can fly with confidence knowing that in extremis they are in safe hands.
The Royal Netherlands Air Force (RNLAF) is the second JSF partner nation scheduled to receive the production configuration F-35 Lightning II aircraft; the first RNLAF aircraft is known as AN-1 and will also be operated at Eglin AFB. To mark the completion of the AN-1 Ejection Seat, Lt Col Jan Van Tilburg, the Military Air & Deputy Defence Attaché for the Netherlands visited Denham on 8th June 2011 and was joined by Jon Rambeau, LM VP International Programs and Peter Livingstone Managing Director of LM UK.
With the completion of BK-1 and AN-1 Seat deliveries, Martin-Baker will have completed the manufacture of all Low Rate of Initial Production (LRIP) Lot III Seat deliveries for delivery into LM Fort Worth.