IBC Advanced Alloys has delivered its first Beralcast azimuth gimbal housing components to Lockheed Martin for use in the F-35 Lightning II electro optical targeting system (EOTS).
The company was contracted in September last year to produce original equipment manufacturer (OEM) aircraft fitted with EOTS systems and spares for seventh and eighth low-rate initial production (LRIP) lots.
IBC Engineered Materials president Ray White said: "Successful first article delivery of Beralcast components to Lockheed Martin raises the bar for high-performance aerospace applications delivered with cost and lead time savings.
"This is an important milestone for both IBC and the aerospace industry and we look forward to continuing to support Lockheed Martin and aerospace with IBC’s Beralcast cast alloys."
EOTS offers affordable, high-performance multi-function targeting to the F-35’s full spectrum of military operations.
The system is the first sensor that is capable of offering forward-looking infrared and infrared search and track functionality to provide F-35 pilots with situational awareness and air-to-air and air-to-surface targeting from a safe distance.
Moreover, it supports aircrews to identify areas of interest, perform reconnaissance and precisely deliver laser- and GPS-guided weapons.
The EOTS assembly is designed for all three fifth-generation F-35 variants and planned production quantities are estimated to reach more than 3,000 aircraft with deliveries running through 2035.
The F-35 variants combine low observable stealth technology with fighter speed and agility. They are scheduled to replace the US Air Force’s A-10 and F-16, the US Navy F/A-18, US Marine Corps’ F/A-18 and AV-8B Harrier, in addition to a variety of fighters from ten other countries.
Image: Azimuth gimbal housing seen in bottom centre of Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II Electro Optical Targeting System (EOTS). Photo: courtesy of Lockheed Martin Corporation / Copyright 2015.