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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.
IAI invested tens of millions of dollars in building the production 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.
“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.”