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IBC Draws New Defense Contract

Sept. 22, 2020
The Massachusetts investment caster has supplied beryllium-aluminum alloy castings for the F-35 Electro-Optical Targeting System since 2011.

IBC Engineered Materials Division, an investment caster in Wilmington, MA, has a new contract to supply beryllium-aluminum parts for a U.S. defense contractor, according to parent company IBC Advanced Alloys Corp. Specific details of the $1.9-million contract were not announced, but the investment caster has supplied Lockheed Martin Corp. with beryllium-aluminum azimuth gimbal housings for the F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter Electro-Optical Targeting System (EOTS) since 2011.

“IBC is pleased to have been awarded this new business, which expands our production of one key defense product and gives us an opportunity to win additional business on new beryllium-aluminum parts with potential significant long-term upside,” stated Ben Rampulla, president of IBC Engineered Materials.

The EOTS is a lightweight, multi-function package for air-to-air and air-to-surface targeting capability on the single-engine F-35 fighter. It combines advanced sensor technology, a low-profile sapphire window design, and advanced algorithms to provide long-range target recognition, identification, and tracking.

The azimuth gimbal housings are produced in a “high-modulus" beryllium-aluminum alloy that IBC Engineered Materials has described as three times stiffer and 22% lighter than aluminum. Its Beralcast alloy can be investment cast as simple or complex parts, with precision.

Beryllium-aluminum allows the system to acquire targets at longer distances than would be the case with other materials, according to IBC, and help to dampen vibration and signal noise, which enhances the electro-optical resolution range.

“IBC’s ability to produce investment-cast, near-net-shape beryllium-aluminum components with complex geometries is unique in this industry," stated Mark Smith, CEO and chairman of IBC Advanced Alloys.