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Dutch F135 Maintenance Facility Achieves Initial Depot Capability

First MRO&U Facility Outside US

StandardAero announced on 3 August that its Dutch maintenance, repair, overhaul and upgrade (MRO&U) facility has achieved all Initial Depot Capability (IDC) requirements for repair and overhaul of the Pratt & Whitney F135 engine, which powers the F-35 LIGHTNING II.

The 30,000 sq ft facility, located at the Logistics Center Woensdrecht (LCW) of the Royal Netherlands Air Force, becomes the first fully-operational F135 engine depot outside the US. It features the first purpose-built international test cell for the F135 engine, designed and constructed from the ground up to support F135 aftermarket test operations.

Since our acquisition of DutchAero Services in March of 2015, we have been purposefully driving toward standing up our capabilities at LCW and operationalizing our F135 engine MRO services,” commented Marc Drobny, President of Military & Energy for StandardAero.

The US DoD selected the Netherlands as one of the F135 MRO&U European regional depots in late 2014, since when the Dutch MoD, the F-35 Joint Program Office, StandardAero, and Pratt & Whitney have worked collaboratively to stand up a regional MRO&U capability that will support the Royal Netherlands Air Force as well as other F-35 operators in the region under the F-35’s Global Support System.

This critical sustainment milestone is the culmination of years of planning, construction, deployments, training and qualification,” stated O Sung Kwon, Vice President, Pratt & Whitney Military Engines Sustainment Operations.

With the declaration of IDC, the Netherlands depot will immediately begin supporting fan and power module repairs for the F135 engine fleet, providing increased capacity to the global network. Modules will be disassembled, repaired, and reassembled by StandardAero personnel, with technical assistance from Pratt & Whitney, followed by testing and return-to-service of the module for use by global operators of the F135 engine.

This is a significant event for the Netherlands, for our industrial partners StandardAero and Pratt & Whitney and for the F-35 partnership,” explained Air Cmdre Richard Laurijssen, LCW Commander. “The fact that this capability now comes online must be very welcome, given the increasing demand for repairs of F135 engine modules the F-35 partnership is currently facing in order to meet the required availability of serviceable F135 engines. The Netherlands team is more than ready to support the growing demand of the F-35 fleet. Hitting this milestone was only possible because of the strong partnership between Pratt & Whitney, StandardAero and the Royal Netherlands Air Force and the supervision of the F-35 Joint Program Office.”

This F135 MRO&U capability brings significant benefits to the Dutch workforce and industry, from high quality jobs to the technical expertise and know-how gained from the maintenance and repair of the most advanced fighter engine in the world.

The LCW facility is the first officially accredited international F135 MRO&U plant. (Photo: Pratt & Whitney)

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