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The Electrooptical Targeting System EOTS is structure integrated to the F35 Lightning II fuselage for airtoair and airtosurface targeting capability

Materion Lands Lockheed F-35 Contract

July 5, 2014
Beryllium specialist to supply investment castings for Stealth fighter jets’ targeting systems Terms not disclosed Beryllium for strength, thermal stability “Significant investment” in casting technology

Materion Brush Beryllium & Composites confirmed it has received a contract from Lockheed Martin to supply investment cast parts for the F-35 Lightning II’s Electro-Optical Targeting System (EOTS). The company had previously reported it was seeking to qualify its products with the aerospace OEM, and had formed a “strategic manufacturing and marketing partnership” with Aristo Cast Inc., an investment caster, concerning the ceramic shell technology.

Terms of the new contract were not disclosed.

Lockheed Martin is the lead contractor for the F-35, a single-engine, “Stealth” enabled fighter jet supplied to the U.S. and U.K. defense programs, for ground attack, reconnaissance, and air-defense missions.

The EOTS is a lightweight, multi-function system for air-to-air and air-to-surface targeting capability on the fighter jet. Another investment caster, IBC Advanced Alloys Corp., also qualified its products with Lockheed for that system.

Materion Brush Beryllium & Composites is an integrated manufacturer of beryllium metal, an element that is particularly useful in alloys of copper and aluminum, where it delivers strength and flexural rigidity, and is thermally stable and conductive.

Last October, Materion completed installing investment casting capability at its foundry in Elmore, OH, where it produces a proprietary aluminum-beryllium alloy, AlBeCast®. It is this alloy that will be used to cast the parts for the F-35 EOTS.

Materion already supplies AlBeMet®, an aluminum-beryllium composite alloy, for the EOTS.

“We have made a significant investment in advancing our casting technology, and this contract adds to our growing number of sales orders in the defense and semiconductor markets,” according to Lawrence Ryczek, vice president and general manager, Materion Brush Beryllium & Composites.

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.)