LOD, Israel, April 14 (UPI) -- Lockheed Martin and Israel Aerospace Industries say preparations to produce F-35 fighter wings in Israel are well underway.
IAI, which signed a contract with Lockheed in April of last year to manufacture the wings, has invested in advanced systems and technology for the work and established an automated production line.
“This is another significant milestone in the industrial cooperation that Lockheed Martin has with the Israeli defense industry,” said Marillyn (CQ) Hewson, chairman and chief executive officer of Lockheed Martin. “IAI has been manufacturing several components for our products for many years and the production of F-35 wings will be a continuation of this process.”
Added Joseph Weiss, president and chief executive officer of IAI: "This new and advanced production line represents an important milestone for IAI and ensures its involvement in the world's most advanced fighter aircraft.
”We welcome the strengthening relationship with Lockheed Martin and look forward to expanding IAI's work share in the production and sustainment of the F-35 program."
Hewson made the remarks during a visit to IAI main campus in Israel.
IAI said the first article delivery F-35 wing assembly is expected in September. Serial production will commence soon after with wing deliveries starting next year.