ATK awarded multi-million dollar F-35 contract
By Mitch Shaw
Standard-Examiner Davis Bureau
Wed, 05/04/2011 - 9:51pm
CLEARFIELD — A multimillion-dollar contract for work on the F-35 is headed to Clearfield.
Alliant Techsystems announced it has been awarded a $110 million contract from Lockheed Martin to produce composite components for the F-35 Lightning II.
A week earlier, ATK was awarded another Lockheed contract for the same type of work. That contract was valued in excess of $240 million.
Under the contracts, ATK will manufacture wing and engine skins that aid conventional takeoffs and landings, as well as short takeoffs and vertical landings.
Production will take place at ATK’s Clearfield facility beginning later this year and will continue through 2015.
ATK began F-35 production in October 2002. The company has delivered more than 850 wing skin components to date, but the new contract calls for ATK to increase production rates.
ATK spokesman George Torres said the new contract will bring new jobs to the area.
“Under this specific contract, there will be a need for an additional 50 employees,” he said. “That’s good news.”
In July 2010, the Air Force announced that Hill Air Force Base had been chosen as the Air Force’s “preferred alternative” for the location of the first two operational squadrons of the advanced F-35 stealth fighter.
Hill only awaits the completion of an environmental impact statement before standing up two active-duty F-35 squadrons by 2013.
Torres said the new contracts likely won’t affect Hill, because ATK manufactures the parts and then ships them to Texas, where they are assembled.
But Torres did note that the contract adds to the Top of Utah’s already thriving aerospace industry.
“We’ve got this whole aerospace cluster here in this part of Utah,” he said, “and this is another example of trying to expand on that.”