Fleet Readiness Center East, the F-35 Joint Program Office and industry partners have concluded verification of the F-35B Lightning II aircraft’s laser shock peening process.
This process is designed to strengthen an aircraft’s frame without modifications that require additional material, Naval Air Systems Command said Thursday.
FRCE built a $6 million facility dedicated to laser shock peening in August 2019, then subjected an F-35 jet to the procedure for the first time in June 2020.
“The laser shock peening modification is essential to extending the life of the F-35B STOVL variant, and the ability to complete this procedure successfully allows FRC East to support this critical workload,” said Col. Thomas Atkinson, FRCE commanding officer.
Lockheed Martin, Curtiss-Wright Surface Technologies and Northrop Grumman served as the military’s industry partners to achieve this milestone.
FRCE serves as the primary site for the F-35B’s depot-level maintenance activities. F-35B is the Lightning II’s variant built for short takeoff-vertical landing.