Israel develops wing components to make F-35s invisible to radar

by Samuel Abasi Posted on December 27th, 2018

Israel Aerospace Industries announced Thursday that F-35 stealth fighter components for the outer wings to make them invisible to radar have entered production.

The company said it will start delivering the outer wing sets early next year — the first phase of about 700 kits — with the possibility of future orders, the Jerusalem Post reported. The production line is expected to make 811 pairs for the fighters by 2034.

“The inauguration of the F-35 wings skin production line is a significant milestone in realizing IAI’s strategy of building advanced capabilities in composite material production,” Shlomi Karako, IAI’s executive vice president and general manager of the commercial aircraft group, told Israel Defense.

“The new production line opens the door for IAI to become a member of an exclusive club of aerospace companies offering this capability,” Karako continued.

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The wing sets will be manufactured using state-of-the-art technology that includes a composite layer of materials called Automatic Fiber Placement, or AFP. The three-millimeter thick threads eventually become one unit that will allow the wings to dodge radar detection.

Karako acknowledged the collaboration with American defense firm Lockheed Martin for the establishment of the new stealth production line.

“Expanding IAI’s operations to the F-35 program underline the level of trust Lockheed Martin places in the Israeli industry,”said Joshua Shani, chief executive officer of Lockheed Martin Israel.

“The precision, technological elements, personnel and the quality of production required for the skins of the F-35’s wings must abide by the highest standards. IAI has proven its capabilities with hundreds of wings so far and we look forward to experiencing the same excellence with the upcoming skins production,” Shani said.

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