04 Nov IAI Begins Serial Production of the F-35 Fighter Wings
November 04, 2014 – Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) today inaugurated its wing production line for the F-35 fighter aircraft at IAI Lahav division. Attending the ceremony were Moshe (Bogie) Ya’alon, Israel’s Minister of Defense; Daniel Shapiro, United States Ambassador to Israel; U.S. Air Force Lt. Gen. Chris Bogdan, F-35 Program Executive Officer; Pat Dewar, Executive Vice President, Lockheed Martin International; and Rafi Maor, IAI’s Chairman of the Board.
The state-of-the-art automated line is expected to produce about 4 sets of wings per month that will later be attached to the F-35 fuselage in the United States. IAI is scheduled to produce more than 800 pairs of F-35 wings over the next decade. The first set of wings will be ready for delivery to Lockheed Martin by mid-2015. The potential sales are estimated at $2.5 billion.
Rafi Maor, IAI’s Chairman of the Board said: “Our partnership with Lockheed Martin in producing sub-assemblies for the most advanced fighter aircraft in the world is strategic for IAI, and constitutes an acknowledgment and expression of faith by Lockheed Martin and the US government in IAI’s capabilities as a global industry leader. IAI’s management is fully committed to the success of this program. We’re excited to work with the U.S. Government and our industry partners to help deliver next generation capabilities.”
IAI invested tens of millions of dollars in building the line. Advanced systems and technologies are required for the wings’ production, in order to meet the F-35 innovative design. The line is extremely accurate and ensures environmental protection during the production process. The upper and lower skins of the wings are made of composite materials, developed especially for the F-35 fighter aircraft.
The wing’s production center at IAI Lahav division is renowned for its extensive experience and knowledge in producing wings for Lockheed Martin’s F-16 fighter aircraft and the United States’ Air Force T-38 aircraft, as well as assemblies for other aircraft and customers.
“This new facility is an excellent step forward for the Program, the US, and Israel; I expect it will remain busy for many, many years to come,” said U.S. Air Force Lt. Gen. Chris Bogdan, F-35 Program Executive Officer. “I’m honored to be here and meet with our industry partner, IAI, and the men and women who will build the wings that will keep the F-35 flying for decades to come.”
“Given IAI’s dedication to precision, world-class work on the F-16, it is no surprise that IAI is a trusted strategic partner to Lockheed Martin,” Said Pat Dewar, Executive Vice President, Lockheed Martin International. “From that partnership, IAI is committed to extending that tradition of quality in producing the Outer Wing Assembly component for the next generation of Israeli fighter aircraft that will protect and serve its nation and people – the F-35 ADIR.”
In the Photo:
F-35 wings production line inauguration ceremony:
(From right-to-left) Haim Kats, Secretary of IAI’s Employees’ Union, Moshe (Bogie) Ya’alon, Israel’s Minister of Defense, Rafi Maor, IAI’s Chairman of the Board, Daniel Shapiro, United States Ambassador to Israel, U.S. Air Force Lt. Gen. Chris Bogdan, F-35 Program Executive Officer, Pat Dewar, Executive Vice President, Lockheed Martin International, and Jacob Rozman, Acting Manager of IAI’s Lahav Divison
About Israel Aerospace Industries
Israel Aerospace Industries Ltd. (IAI) is Israel’s largest aerospace and defense company and a globally recognized technology and innovation leader specializing in developing and manufacturing advanced, state-of-the-art systems for air, space, sea, land, cyber and homeland security. Since 1953, the company has provided advanced technology solutions to government and commercial customers worldwide including: satellites, missiles, weapon systems and munitions, unmanned systems, robotic systems, electronics, radars, C4ISR , navigation systems and EO payloads. IAI also designs and manufactures business jets and aerostructures, performs overhaul and maintenance on commercial aircraft and converts passenger aircraft to refueling and cargo configurations.
For more about IAI, visit us at: www.iai.co.il