NORDAM selected as supplier for F-35 Joint Strike Fighter

Aerospace composites experience leads to contract on fifth-generation fighter program

Contact: NORDAM MarCom Department (918) 878-6837

TULSA, Okla. (Tues., July 12, 2016) – NORDAM has been selected by Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE: NOC) to manufacture major structural components for the F-35 center fuselage. Northrop Grumman plays a key role in the development and production of the F-35 weapons system.

In addition to producing the jet's center fuselage, the company produces its radar, electro-optical, avionics and communications subsystems. It also develops mission systems and mission-planning software; develops and maintains pilot and maintainer training systems courseware; and manages the team's use, support and maintenance of low-observable technologies.

The F-35 is a fifth generation combat aircraft designed to replace a wide range of aging fighter and strike aircraft for the U.S. Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps, as well as allied nations defense forces worldwide. As a supplier to Northrop Grumman, NORDAM will produce three of the aircraft’s internal parts made entirely from composite materials.

“Assembly of the center fuselage begins with the parts that NORDAM will manufacture,” said Meredith Siegfried Madden, NORDAM’s CEO. “There was a lot of competition for this contract, but among other factors, our many years of experience in composites and complex bondment and layup, coupled with our niche expertise in automated fiber placement (AFP) processing, secured the deal.”

The Tulsa-based company began the rigorous request-for-proposal process about a year ago, which concluded with a rigorous “top-to-bottom” technical site visit and review by Northrop Grumman. Under the long-term agreement finalized last month, NORDAM’s Nacelle & Thrust Reverser Systems Division (NTR), 6911 N. Whirlpool Dr., Tulsa, Okla., will supply up to 35 ship-sets per year for six years to Northrop Grumman.

To meet that demand, NTR facility upgrades and new equipment purchases are in process, such as paint shop enhancements, two new, high-tech automated fiber placement machines (AFP) for laying carbon fiber tape, and an additional five-axis cutter. NTR Vice President and General Manager John Clawson anticipates approximately 20 months of build-up activity and the addition of about 20 related positions before full production is underway.

“As this is a new platform for us, we’ll attain key process certifications in the course of performing work on the contract, including qualification by Lockheed Martin to work on the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program,” Clawson said. “We are confident those achievements will further enhance NORDAM’s attractiveness when proposing on new work within the same and similar platforms for these two major defense contractors.”

Headquartered in Tulsa and employing 2,500 people across multiple, strategically located operations and customer support facilities around the world, NORDAM is one of the largest independently owned aerospace companies. The firm designs, certifies and manufactures integrated propulsion systems, nacelles and thrust reversers for business jets; builds composite aircraft structures, interior shells, custom cabinetry and radomes; and manufactures aircraft transparencies, such as cabin windows, wing-tip lens assemblies and flight deck windows. NORDAM also is a major third-party provider of maintenance, repair and overhaul services to the military, commercial airline and air freight markets. Learn more about NORDAM at

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