February 4, 2011
January 11, 2011, Rockledge, Fl – Matrix Composites finished its last critical structure on the F22 Raptor Program. Shipment of this part represents the conclusion of a very successful development and production effort for Matrix. Matrix was one of only four companies qualified worldwide to produce specific components related to the aircraft’s low-observable fuselage and critical airframe components.
The F22 Raptor is the nation’s only deployed 5th generation fighter. The aircraft is the “top gun” of the US military’s arsenal and represents the state-of-the-art in manned fighter aircraft. Although the original build quantities were expected to exceed 500 aircraft, the program was stripped of funding by Defense Secretary Gates and the Obama Administration in early 2010, cutting the number to just 187 aircraft. “It seems like a waste of tax payer money considering the $300 billion investment made to develop and produce the aircraft” says David Nesbitt, President of Matrix Composites, “Stopping production at just 187 aircraft deprives us of the program’s full potential and adversely affects our domestic industrial base”. Cancellation of the program affects an estimated 95,000 jobs and 1,000 suppliers across the country including Matrix Composites, a Brevard-based business.
Tim Murphy, Quality Assurance Manager at Matrix and 15 year veteran on the F22 program says “I’ve seen this program grow over the years and it’s sad to see such a good thing come to an end.”’ He adds “just when all the bugs are worked out, production is stopped.”
Matrix Composites has been manufacturing components on the Raptor since 2005. Over 20 trained aerospace technicians were employed at Matrix utilizing advanced manufacturing methods and proprietary processes to build these critical components. Although the company has been impacted by termination of the F22, it anticipates significant growth over the next three years as other key programs get underway. “We’re pursuing some new opportunities on the F35 Lighting program that we are very excited about,” says Ray Ringleb, Sales and Marketing Manager at Matrix.
Matrix Composites Incorporated has been providing quality composites since 1993 and is an industry leader in the design and manufacture of precision composites for the aviation, medical, and space industries. The company has been certified to AS9100 and is a Lockheed Martin STAR Supplier. As a key supplier on the F22 Raptor Program the company specializes in the use of close-tolerance resin transfer molding (RTM) for high-volume production of critical hardware.
for Additional Information Contact:
Matrix Composites Inc,
275 Barnes Blvd
Rockledge, Florida 32955
321 633 4480 Tel