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Israeli companies cash in on F-35 contract work
by Richard Tomkins
Jerusalem (UPI) Feb 13, 2017

Lockheed plant produces 200th F-35 center wing assembly
Marietta, Ga. (UPI) Feb 13, 2017 - Lockheed Martin reports its manufacturing facility in Marietta, Ga., has produced its 200th center wing assembly for F-35 fighters.

The CWA, to which the plane's wings are attached during final assembly, makes up about one-quarter of the aircraft's fuselage.

The 200th CWA was completed in January, Lockheed Martin said, and "delivered to the Fort Worth, Texas, F-35 production line ... marking a major milestone."

About 350 employees at the Marietta facility are assigned to F-35 work. In addition to assembling the CWAs, technicians also apply specialized coatings to the aircraft's horizontal and vertical tail assemblies and to spare and repaired doors, panels and covers.

The current production rate for CWAs at Marietta is one every 3.5 manufacturing days, Lockheed Martin said.

Israeli companies have earned about $1.03 billion since 2010 from projects related to Lockheed Martin's F-35 fighter program, Israel's Ministry of Defense reports.

The ministry said $258 million was earned from contracts last year, mainly for pilot helmets, representing a 33 percent increase in procurement over previous years.

"The volume of the manufacturing cooperation between the Adir's producers and Israeli industry, in just the last year, shows the great potential for the Israeli economy," said retired Col. Avi Dadon, deputy director-general of the Defense Ministry, using the F-35's Hebrew name.

A large portion of monies in 2016 are expected to go to Elbit Systems and its U.S. partner Rockwell Collins, which are jointly manufacturing the state-of-the-art helmet for the F-35. The screen-filled helmet is designed to give the pilot a 360-degree view from the cockpit, with cameras hooked up around the aircraft.

Another $16.6 million will go to Elbit Systems' factory in the northern Israeli town of Carmiel, which is helping manufacture the F-35's body, and about $26 million will go to Israel Aerospace Industries, which is manufacturing the jet's wings, the Defense Ministry said.

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