Jul 12 2014

Italian company is building Dutch F-35 JSF stealth fighters

Gepubliceerd door JSFNieuws.nl om 16:12 onder Global F35 News

Lieuwe de Vries writes at “War is boring” about the Dutch visit to the Cameri F-35 FACO facilitiy in Italy:

Uh Oh—A Crappy Italian Company Might Build The Netherlands’ New Stealth Fighters……

The Dutch minister of defense recently attended talks in Rome to decide who would build nearly 40 F-35 stealth fighters for the Royal Netherlands Air Force. Lockheed Martin in the U.S. designed the single-engine, radar-evading jet, but the company licenses some of the actual manufacturing to foreign factories.
The Netherlands is considering tapping Italian firm Alenia Aerospace to make most of the Dutch jets, which could form the backbone of the RNLAF for many decades.

The choice is a potentially risky one. Alenia Aerospace is part of the Finmeccanica Group alongside companies such as AnsaldoBreda and AugustaWestland. Finmeccanica has a reputation for high-profile failures. And if it screws up the Dutch F-35s, an entire European air arm could be in jeopardy.

The FYRA train

When the Dutch national rail carrier Nationale Spoorwegen wanted trains to run on its new fast rail link to Antwerp and Brussels, it turned to AnsaldoBreda to produce the trains. (…..) Reports surfaced of serious manufacturing quality issues. Those few early trains suffered frequent outages, with as many as 80 percent of them being out of service at any given time.

The NH90 helicopter : Dutch Navy losing its wings

NATO established the Helicopter Management and Acquisition group to oversee design and production of what would become the NH90 helicopter, pictured below. Finmeccanica’s Augusta—which eventually merged with Westland—was responsible for building the 12 Dutch navy copies.
There were long delays. Helicopters finally began to trickle into service in The Netherlands and other countries in 2007, years late.
The Dutch national aviation research lab examined the NH90s and found construction and design errors. They ranged from a poorly designed tail structure to improperly applied or completely missing sealants. These errors reflect poorly on the quality-control procedures at Finmeccanica’s facilities.

This not necessarily spell trouble for the F-35……. Dutch Air Force losing its wings
To be fair, past problems with Finmeccanica Group projects don’t necessarily spell trouble for Alenia’s F-35 involvement. But they do seem to hint at a group-wide corporate culture that fails to promote quality.

Global Supply Chains are tricky
Alenia’s Dreamliner failure in particular is a worrying sign.

[JSF Editor’s note: also read this:
Randy’s Journal: Boeing 787 / Alenia
and this:
Big questions hang over Global Aeronatica; Alenia’s Dreamliner project ]

Read more (source):
War is boring; 9-Jul-2014; Lieuwe de Vries;
“Italian Company is building the Netherlands new joint stealth fighter (JSF)

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