Pulse news magazine

Volume 29, June 2020

F-35 Corporate Growth Council: Throttling forward at lightning speed

From identifying future capabilities to mapping sustainment opportunities, BAE Systems’ F-35 Corporate Growth Council spans multiple business areas with a common goal: protecting the warfighter.

Your company has been awarded multiple global contracts to provide critical capabilities for a next-generation, low-observable tactical aircraft. How do you develop a long-range, strategic plan for the business and measure progress against the plan’s benchmarks and goals?

For Deb Norton, vice president of F-35 Solutions, the answer was clear: Throttle forward and establish Corporate Growth Council (CGC) to share lessons learned across the enterprise, support rapid growth, and proactively discover forward-thinking opportunities. That is exactly what her team did in 2017, and the council continues to do today.

The lessons learned from the F-35 CGC and the growing size of the F-35 Lightning II program mirror BAE Systems’ expanding role on the platform. For example, as the council focuses on bringing new capabilities to the aircraft, they are leveraging sustainment expertise across the company to ensure the aircraft meets the military services requirements of 80 percent availability, in addition to developing solutions for global partners and Foreign Military Sale countries. Our F-35 teams are winning contracts and reinforcing the company’s expertise in air dominance, with a common goal of protecting the warfighter. With the battlespace environment changing, and the success of the F-35 program and its capabilities, the CGC is leading the growth of platform opportunities across the BAE Systems portfolio.

The mantra of where we have been and where we are going is the driving force behind the F-35 CGC. Each year, the council has an initial meeting of the minds to agree on a common goal, start strategic planning, and determine a path to overcome challenges and achieve targeted milestones. From identifying future capabilities to mapping sustainment opportunities, the F-35 CGC spans multiple business areas across Electronic Systems and the Intelligence & Security sector. Additionally, BAE Systems Air Sector and BAE Systems Australia drive collaboration within the council to accelerate F-35 global program growth. “The F-35 Corporate Growth Council truly brings together teams,” said Todd Caruso, Business Development, F-35 Solutions. “From capture leads, to Business Development, and Engineering, we are collaborating as a united front to leverage our expertise and bring new capabilities to the F-35 warfighter.”

The success of the F-35 Lightning II depends on its success as a joint program. Within BAE Systems, it also depends on the alignment of the F-35 CGC. From taking advantage of new growth opportunities to understanding impacts before they happen, the council is addressing global needs and requirements that will propel and protect our position on the F-35 program – now and in the future.

With a significant footprint on the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) program, BAE Systems provides design, manufacturing, and support to this fifth-generation aircraft across the enterprise.

  • BAE Systems Plc (U.K.) – manufactures the aft fuselage of every F-35 globally. This includes the horizontal and vertical tails, U.K. weapons integration and Queen Elizabeth Class integration activities, UK F-35 sustainment at Royal Air Force Marham, and global F-35 sustainment operations.
  • BAE Systems Inc. (U.S.) – provides the electronic warfare/countermeasures system, vehicle management computer, active inceptor systems, software, sustainment, and training services for the F-35.
  • BAE Systems Australia – manufactures critical components and works with suppliers to provide the vertical tail sections of the Conventional Take-Off and Landing variant of the F-35.

 By Jake Drouin, Communications, Nashua, New Hampshire