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03 May 12. Ian Milne, Vice President of Northrop Grumman Europe, gave the first of a series of engineering-related lectures to the Eton College Scientific Society. In his talk, entitled ‘Engineering Excellence in Aerospace and Defence Engineering’, he used the radar and Defensive Aids Suite (DAS) systems in the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter to showcase the pinnacle of modern engineering. Haofeng Xu, a secretary of the Scientific Society, gives a summary of the lecture.

The development of the Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II has been one of the greatest, as well as most expensive, defence projects of the modern age. It has enjoyed much media limelight recently as the British government finally confirmed its order of F-35B Short Take Off Vertical Landing aircraft (as opposed to the cheaper F-35C Carrier Variant). The Joint Strike Fighter Program, which has been developing the aircraft since 1993, will only be able to deliver full combat capability in 2018 (significantly delayed and over budget). After a quarter of a century and over $56 billion in development costs, how will the F-35 justify its phenomenal investment?

The Northrop Grumman presentation to the Eton College Scientific Society was the first in a number of presentations by companies involved in Aerospace & Defence Engineering in an initiative with Eton and BATTLESPACE Publications owned by Julian Nettlefold OE (CWW 1967-72) to highlight engineering as a career. In a further development, GKN has kindly agreed to sponsor the annual Joseph Henry Nettlefold Engineering Essay Prize. Joseph Henry Nettlefold was also an old Etonian (1827-1832).

If you would like to get involved in the Eton Engineering Initiative please contact Julian Nettlefold, j.nettlefold@battle-technology.com

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