During a ceremony held at Israel Aerospace Industries’ (IAI) wing assembly line, IAI delivered Lockheed Martin with the first sets of F-16 aerostructures manufactured at IAI’s recently reopened assembly line, including the F-16 Conformal Fuel Tanks. In addition, the 200th F-35 fighter aircraft wing set, produced by IAI, was also delivered.
IAI is scheduled to produce a total of 811 pairs of F-35A wings, with a potential value of over 2 billion USD by 2034, following a contract signed in 2011. IAI is operating a state-of-the-art F-35 wing production line, inaugurated in 2014, while continuously investing in automated systems, advanced infrastructures and technologies necessary to meet the aircraft’s innovative design. The wings’ upper and lower skins are made of composite materials, unique to the F-35, also made by IAI as part of the production contracts.
IAI has been manufacturing aerostructures for Lockheed Martin since the 1980s. With the new demand for the F-16 Block 70/72 aircraft, IAI recently reopened the assembly lines for the F-16 Wings, Vertical Fins and Conformal Fuel Tanks. Prior to reopening the F-16 assembly lines, IAI invested in modernizing infrastructure, improving the work environment, and introducing new tools to produce fully compliant F-16 aerostructures. IAI also successfully reestablished the supply chain of hardware suppliers to support the assembly lines, checked and verified tooling, carried out necessary first article inspections, and conducted training programs for the F-16 team.
Chief Executive, Lockheed Martin Israel, Joshua Shani said, “Lockheed Martin’s growing sales of our most advanced platforms enable us to further expand local industrial partnerships. IAI is a valued partner for the F-35 and F-16 supply chains, manufacturing various parts and technologies for Lockheed Martin for more than 40 years. Lockheed Martin greatly values our long-standing relationship with the state of Israeli and its defense industries and look forward to further expand our cooperations throughout all our key programs”.
Boaz Levy, IAI President and CEO, said, “Delivering the F-16 aerostructures and the 200th F-35 wing to our partners at Lockheed Martin is a testament to the strong cooperation between our companies, and to the trust Lockheed Martin have given us. IAI’s aerostructures production lines utilize innovative technologies that provide our customers with advanced capabilities. We look forward to many more projects with Lockheed Martin and will continue providing leading solutions to the industry.”
IAI’s Aviation Group is a leader in developing and producing advanced technologies, avionic structures, and assemblies. It offers a dedicated line for making F-35 outer wing boxes and their skins. With these capabilities, the Aviation Group serves the world’s largest aerospace companies.
IAI’s LAHAV Aero-Structures Division is a centre of excellence for the design and production of metallic and composite aerostructures, using the most advanced technologies.