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IBC Awarded Another Tooling Contract by Lockheed

Sept. 14, 2015
Massachusetts investment caster cleared to develop tools for qualifying beryllium-aluminum castings Sniper Advanced Targeting Pod Follows F-35 EOTS success “…weight, modulus and temperature stability”
Lockheed Martin’s Sniper ATP is a “targeting pod” that provides air-to-ground and air-to-air targeting capability for fixed-wing aircraft.

Investment caster IBC Engineered Materials has a new Lockheed Martin contract to design, manufacture, and implement hard tooling for the final qualification of Beralcast® castings as a beryllium-aluminum alternative for precision targeting components for the Sniper ATP. IBC, an operating division of IBC Advanced Alloys Corp., already supplies beryllium-aluminum castings to Lockheed for the electro-optical targeting system (EOTS) of the F-35 Lightning II stealth fighter jet.

The value and other terms of the contract were not announced.

The Sniper Advanced Targeting Pod is a long-range, target detection/identification and continuous surveillance system for fixed-wing aircraft, for all missions, including close air-support of ground forces. It provides pilots with high-resolution images for precision targeting and non-traditional intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance missions.

IBC noted that Beralcast alloys can be cast into high-performance, complex parts that require lightweight and high-stiffness qualities, and can substitute for aluminum, magnesium, titanium, metal matrix composites, as well as pure beryllium or powder-met beryllium-aluminum. The principal Beralcast alloys are more than three times stiffer than aluminum, 22% lighter, and can be precision-cast for simple and complex three-dimensional stability.

Chris Huskamp, president of Wilmington, MA-based IBC Engineered Materials, said, "Sniper ATP is an interoperable system across multiple aircraft platforms and sets the benchmark for next-generation electro-optical targeting systems. Our family of castable beryllium-aluminum alloys, or Beralcast®, is ideal for applications such as Sniper ATP where weight, modulus and temperature stability (CTE) are critical performance factors."

About the Author

Robert Brooks | Content Director

Robert Brooks has been a business-to-business reporter, writer, editor, and columnist for more than 20 years, specializing in the primary metal and basic manufacturing industries. His work has covered a wide range of topics, including process technology, resource development, material selection, product design, workforce development, and industrial market strategies, among others. Currently, he specializes in subjects related to metal component and product design, development, and manufacturing — including castings, forgings, machined parts, and fabrications.

Brooks is a graduate of Kenyon College (B.A. English, Political Science) and Emory University (M.A. English.)