IBC now produces a crucial advanced beryllium-aluminum alloy component for the F-35 Lightning II, under a contract with Lockheed Martin. This IBC-made component is known as the azimuth gimbal housing unit and is used in the F-35’s Electro-Optical Targeting System (EOTS), which is Lockheed Martin’s affordable, high-performance, lightweight, multi-function system that provides precision air-to-air and air-to-surface targeting capability. The low-drag, stealthy EOTS is integrated into the F-35 Lightning II’s fuselage with a durable sapphire window and is linked to the aircraft’s integrated central computer through a high-speed fiber-optic interface.
IBC has manufactured this custom beryllium-aluminum alloy component for Lockheed since 2015 using IBC’s high performance Beralcast® beryllium-aluminum precision cast alloy. The contract was awarded as part of the U.S. Defense Department’s Low Rate of Initial Production (“LRIP”) Lot 11 purchase of the fighter jet.
The current IBC contract for this work represented a 16% increase over the number of EOTS components that IBC manufactured for Lockheed Martin in the previous contract. The previous contract combined orders for both LRIPs 9 and 10 and represented a minimum contract value of more than USD $2 million. The total value of the new contract is approximately USD $2.6 million.
Beryllium-aluminum alloys allow the F-35’s EOTS system to acquire targets at longer distances than would be the case with other materials. Beryllium-aluminum helps to dampen vibration and signal noise to the EOTS system, which enhances the electro-optical resolution range.
“We are pleased and proud to have been awarded a third purchase order from Lockheed Martin for the EOTS azimuth gimbal housing on the F-35 Lightning II, and at a level that represents a significant increase over the previous two LRIP orders combined,” said Major General Duncan Heinz (USMC, ret.), President, CEO, and Director of IBC. “Our proprietary Beralcast® beryllium-aluminum casting alloys deliver the exceptional performance demanded by the F-35 platform and help to reduce costs for this system over traditional technologies. We look forward to serving Lockheed Martin and other defense and commercial equipment manufacturers with custom manufactured Beralcast® components.”
The F-35 Lightning II, a 5th generation fighter, combines advanced low observable stealth technology with fighter speed and agility, fully fused sensor information, network-enabled operations and advanced sustainment. Three distinct variants of the F-35 will replace the A-10 and F-16 for the U.S. Air Force, the F/A-18 for the U.S. Navy, the F/A-18 and AV-8B Harrier for the U.S. Marine Corps, and a variety of fighters for at least 10 other countries.