Alcoa to supply titanium for all F-35 variants under 9-year deal

Lightweight metals leader Alcoa (NYSE: AA) said it has announced a contract to supply titanium for Lockheed Martin´s (NYSE: LMT) F-35 Lightning II aircraft program, also known as the Joint Strike Fighter (JSF).

Under the contract, Alcoa becomes the titanium supplier for airframe structures for all three variants of the F-35 over nine years, from 2016 to 2024. At current projected build rates, the contract has an estimated value of approximately USD1.1 billion.

Alcoa will supply titanium plate and billet from several operations gained through the RTI International Metals acquisition.

“Through our expansion in titanium, Alcoa is sharpening its leadership edge on state-of-the-art aircraft, including the most advanced fighter jet in the world–the F-35,” said Alcoa CEO Klaus Kleinfeld. “We are expanding Alcoa´s range of multi-material offerings for this program while helping Lockheed Martin meet aggressive weight, range and fuel efficiency targets.”

The titanium will be used to manufacture airframe structures for all three F-35 JSF variants: The F-35A Conventional Takeoff and Landing (CTOL) aircraft, the F-35B Short Takeoff/Vertical Landing (STOVL) aircraft and the F-35C Carrier Variant (CV). Under a different existing contract, Alcoa will use the metal to forge all of the largest titanium bulkheads–the “backbone” of the aircraft structure–for the CTOL variant at its Cleveland, Ohio operations. Approximately 75 percent of all F-35s produced are CTOLs.

A global leader in lightweight metals technology, engineering and manufacturing, Alcoa innovates multi-material solutions.

Headquartered in Bethesda, Maryland, Lockheed Martin is a global security and aerospace company that employs approximately 112,000 people worldwide and is principally engaged in the research, design, development, manufacture, integration and sustainment of advanced technology systems, products and services. The corporation´s net sales for 2014 were USD45.6 billion.