F-35 in flight
F-35 in flightLockheed Martin

Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) has been awarded two new and lucrative contracts, one by Boeing to build the empennage leading edges for the 777X, and one by Lockheed Martin to produce 800 wing sets for the F-35 project.

The Boeing project will see IAI help construct the newest passenger aircraft, the Boeing 777x, which is expected to enter into service in the year 2020. IAI was also awarded an extension of its existing contract for the 777 empennage leading edges which will continue for the duration of the life of the program. These two Boeing contract awards follow hard on the heels of a strategic agreement which was signed by the two companies and will see the pair explore opportunities for additional future contracts that could be worth upwards of several hundred million dollars.

The Lockheed Martin contract to produce more than 800 pairs of F-35 wings for the multinational cooperative F-35 project, is worth a potential value of $2.5 billion that will be spread across the next 10-15 years.

According to two reports by the IsraelDefense website, both Boeing and Lockheed Martin have recognized the value of working with the IAI and developing new systems and technologies in Israel.

"Boeing's renewed vote of confidence in IAI is an act that cannot be overestimated. Working with the world's leading aviation giant serves as a stamp of quality for IAI's technological and aviation capabilities", said an IAI spokesperson in an interview with IsraelDefense.

With regard to the second contract, “Lockheed Martin recognizes IAI’s commitment to the F-35 program and understands the importance of the quality delivered by the IAI team,” said Jeff Babione, Lockheed Martin F-35 program manager.

Joseph (Yossi) Weiss, president and CEO of IAI said in reference to the Lockheed Martin contract that  “the award reflects a strong vote of confidence in IAI’s abilities and commitment to this partnership, part of the development of the most advanced fighter aircraft ever produced. We are extremely proud of this cooperation and believe it will continue to be strengthened in the future.”

IsraelDefense reports that “the IAI currently supplies Boeing with the empennage leading edge for the 777 as well as the pivot bulkhead, passenger floor beams and door surround details for the 787 Dreamliner.”

With regards to the F-35 Wings package, the IAI will be significantly stepping up production to meet the quota following the creation of an automated F-35 wing production line. The automated production line is, according to reports, extremely accurate and ensures protection of the environment during all stages of the production process.

IAI will build the 777X empennage leading edges at its Lod, Israel, manufacturing facility, with the first delivery planned for the second half of 2017. Construction of the 800 F-35 wing sets will span the next 15 years. The wing production center at IAI's 'Lahav' Division also produces wings for the F-16 and T-38 aircraft, as well other aerostructures for other aircraft and customers.