Israeli-built wings for new F-35 will make jets invisible to radar 

Source: Israeli-built wings for new F-35 will make jets invisible to radar – Israel News – Jerusalem Post

The production line, which will last around 20 years, is expected to generate revenues of over $2.5 billion during the next 10-15 years.

BY ANNA AHRONHEIM
 DECEMBER 27, 2018 12:14
The F-35 stealth fighter jet on the tarmac at Berlin Air Show

Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) has launched a new production line for the outer wing set of the F-35 stealth fighter key component to make the advanced fighter jet invisible to radar, the company announced.

“The construction of the new production line significantly upgrades IAI’s technological capabilities, automation and robotics, and will enable the company to establish itself as a major player in the military and civilian aerostructures,” read a statement by IAI.

The production line, which will last around 20 years, is expected to generate revenues of over $2.5 billion during the next 10-15 years.

Deliveries of the outer wing sets are expected to start at the beginning of 2019, and include in the first phase about 700 kits with potential for further orders. According to a 2016 statement by the company, the production line is scheduled to build a total of 811 pairs of F-35A wings by 2034.

The sets will be manufactured using state-of-the-art technology which includes a unique composite layer of materials called AFP (Automatic Fiber Placement) which are three millimeters thick threads that eventually become one unit that in the end creates the least for the wings that gives them the ability to evade radar detection.

IAI’s board of directors approved the construction of the new production line in 2015 following a decision by the plane’s maker, Lockheed Martin, to expand the production of the sets and chose IAI as the subcontractor.

“The opening of the production line constitutes a significant milestone in the realization of the company’s strategy for building advanced capabilities in the field of composite materials manufacturing technology. Thanks to this move, IAI will belong to a ‘limited club’ of companies with these manufacturing capabilities,” said IAI Vice-President Shlomi Karako at the launch.

The expansion of IAI’s collaboration with Lockheed Martin “is another proof of the deep partnership and trust” the American manufacturer has with Israel’s leader in defense production, said Lockheed Martin Israel’s CEO, Joshua “Shiki” Shani, adding that “The precision, technological components, personnel and manufacturing quality needed for the wings of the F-35s require the highest standards. IAI has proven its capabilities in the production line in the hundreds of wings produced so far, and we expect to commence operations in their coating field, which is another layer in the overall manufacturing process of the F-35 aircraft. ”

The F-35s have components built by several Israeli defense companies including Elbit System-Cyclone that built the center fuselage composite components and Elbit Systems Ltd which manufactured the helmets worn by the pilots.

Israel’s Air Force currently has 14 F-35Is and is expected to receive a total of 50 planes to make two full squadrons by 2024. The IAF is set to decide in the coming months between purchasing a third squadron of F-35 jets or Boeing’s latest F-15I.

 

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