Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) has begun the production of F-35 wing skins
JERUSALEM, Israel (BulgarianMilitary.com) – Israel aerospace industries (IAI) has begun the production of F-35 wing skins, learned BulgarianMilitary.com.
The new production line was set up following Lockheed Martin’s decision to expand the skins’ production IAI board has approved the construction of the new production line in 2015.
Read more: Lockheed Martin Received a $22.7 Billion F-35 Supply Contract
The 20-year program is expected to yield revenues of hundreds of millions of dollars, with shipments expected from the beginning of 2019. The first shipments will be of some 700 kits with potential for additional orders at a later stage.
Read more: The Belgian Fleet of F-16s Will Be Replaced by F-35As
The skins will be manufactured by means of innovative technology called Automatic Fiber Placement (AFP) that comprises layers of composite materials. The layers consist of 3-mm threads that become a cohesive unit, thus forming the special wing skin that provides them with the stealth capability.
The establishment of the new production line constitutes a significant improvement of IAI’s automation and robotics capabilities, allowing it to become a key player in the military and commercial aero structures field.
Read more: Raytheon Will Develop the F-35 Next-Generation DAS
IAI has been manufacturing F-35 wings for some years. The initial order was for 811 pairs of wings and since then “a few dozens have been added ” an IAI source said. He added that deliveries of the F-35 wings are on schedule.
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Source: Arie Egozi (correspondent)