GKN Aerospace opens production line for landing gear systems of GA-ASI Predator B

Tuesday 25 April 2017

April 26th. Highlights: Production volume of 30 to 50 landing gear per year. First landing gear will be delivered in Q2 2017. About 10 Dutch SME’s involved in the supply chain.

General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc. (GA ASI), a leading manufacturer of Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPA) systems, radars, and electro-optic and related mission systems solutions, and GKN Aerospace’s Fokker business, a technology leader in cutting edge landing gear technologies, yesterday officially opened the highly automated production line of landing gear systems for Predator® B/MQ-9 Reaper® RPA, systems in Helmond, the Netherlands. 

GKN Aerospace’s Fokker business is GA-ASI’s Dutch in-country partner. The companies have been working together for several years to offer Predator aircraft to the Dutch Armed Forces. An experienced Program Team will manage the execution of the landing gear production supported by highly automated processes. Predator B exceeds the Dutch Air Forces’ requirements for persistent remotely piloted Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (ISR) systems.

“We are committed to substantial European industrial involvement on our aircraft systems,” said Linden Blue, CEO, GA-ASI. “Fokker’s production of the Predator B landing gear system is just one of the major areas of collaboration with European industry.”

GA-ASI and Fokker are also exploring the possibilities to collaborate in the application of advanced composites in the Predator B landing gear to reduce weight and improve production lead times. GKN Aerospace’s Fokker business is a technology leader in the design and development of composite components for landing gear.

"We are proud to manufacture the landing gear of the innovative Predator B system for General Atomics Aeronautical Systems,” said Michiel van der Maat, vice president of Fokker Technologies, our teams have been working closely together to achieve this great milestone “

This strategic collaboration continues to demonstrate GA-ASI’s drive to support Dutch industry and to integrate their industrial capabilities worldwide. GKN Aerospace’s Fokker business and Dutch industry will play a critical role in the expanding Predator-series market.

Editor’s Notes:

About GA-ASI
General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc., an affiliate of General Atomics, delivers situational awareness by providing remotely piloted aircraft systems, radar, and electro-optic and related mission systems solutions for military and commercial applications worldwide. The company’s Aircraft Systems business unit is a leading designer and manufacturer of proven, reliable RPA systems, including Predator A, Predator B/MQ-9 Reaper, Gray Eagle, the new Predator C Avenger®, and Predator XP. It also manufactures a variety of state-of-the-art digital Ground Control Stations (GCS), including the next-generation Advanced Cockpit GCS, and provides pilot training and support services for RPA field operations. The Mission Systems business unit designs, manufactures, and integrates the Lynx® Multi-mode Radar and sophisticated Claw® sensor control and image analysis software into both manned and remotely piloted aircraft. It also focuses on providing integrated sensor payloads and software for Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) aircraft platforms and develops high energy lasers, electro-optic sensors, and meta-material antennas. For more information, please visit www.ga-asi.com.

GKN plc is a global engineering group. It has three divisions; GKN Aerospace, GKN Driveline and GKN Powder Metallurgy, which operate in the aerospace and automotive markets. Over 58,000 people work in GKN companies and joint ventures in more than 30 countries. GKN is listed on the London Stock Exchange (LSE: GKN) and recorded sales of £9.4 billion in the year to 31 December 2016. 

GKN Aerospace is the world’s leading multi-technology tier 1 aerospace supplier. As a global company serving the world’s leading aircraft manufacturers, GKN Aerospace develops, builds and supplies an extensive range of advanced aerospace systems, components and technologies– for use in aircraft ranging from helicopters and business jets to the most used single aisle aircraft and the largest passenger planes in the world. Light weight composites, additive manufacturing, innovative engine systems and smart transparencies help to reduce emissions and weight on the aircraft and enhance passenger comfort. GKN Aerospace is market leading in aerostructures, engine systems, transparencies and wiring systems and operates in 14 countries at 55 manuafacturing locations employing approximately 17,500 people. 

For further information, on this release please contact:
Marianne Mulder, Digital Communications and Media Manager, GKN Aerospace 
Tel: +31 78 6419848    |   Mobile: +31 6 513 112 17    |     e-Mail: marianne.mulder@fokker.com
For information about products and career opportunities go to: www.gkn.com/aerospace