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The F-35 Lightning II’s azimuth gimbal housing is positioned in the bottom center of the Stealth-enable fighter jet’s electro-optical targeting system (EOTS), which is positioned as highlighted on the background illustration of the aircraft.

First Investment Castings Delivered for F-35 Targeting System

July 27, 2015
Beralcast components for Lockheed’s Stealth fighter Electro Optical Targeting System Lightweight, high-stiffness cast parts Air-to-air, air-to-surface targeting F-35 debut this year

Specially developed, investment cast parts of a high-tech housing system have been delivered to Lockheed Martin by IBC Advanced Alloys’ IBC Engineered Materials division, part of its supply for the F-35 Lightning II electro-optical targeting system (EOTS). 

The EOTS is a lightweight, multi-function system for air-to-air and air-to-surface targeting capability on the F-35 Lightning II — the single-engine, “stealth” enabled fighter jet that Lockheed Martin and its numerous suppliers are building for the U.S. Dept. of Defense. 

Lockheed recently won the U.S. Dept. of Defense’s approval to proceed with purchase for the tenth series of production in the F-35 program. The first aircraft are due to enter service this year with the U.S. Marine Corps.  The fighter jets also will be deployed by U.S. Air Force (which already is using the jets in air exercises), the U.S. Navy, and the U.K. Royal Air Force, as well as defense ministries in several NATO and other Allied nations.

IBC Engineered Materials, in Wilmington, MA, is an investment casting foundry that produces parts in IBC’s proprietary beryllium-aluminum alloys (Beralcast®), a material that is critical to the performance of the EOTS because of its light weight and exceptionally high stiffness.

The F-35 EOTS reportedly is the first sensor to combine forward-looking infrared and infrared search and track functionality, to provide fighter pilots with situational awareness and air-to-air and air-to-surface targeting capability from a safe distance. With the EOTS technology, the fighter jet crews can carry out mission reconnaissance and deliver laser- and GPS-guided weapons.

"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," according to IBC Engineered Materials president Ray White.