Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) announced Monday that it was named “Elite Supplier” by Lockheed Martin for the third consecutive year. The US defense contractor's recognition dates back to 2002 when IAI developed a unique solution in response to a challenge posed by Lockheed Martin’s Sikorsky division: 20% weight reduction and lowering the price of the horizontal folding stabilizers of the Black Hawk helicopter in UH/HH-60M configuration. IAI remains the sole supplier of this product to the American defense giant.
The horizontal folding stabilizer is a proprietary IAI development made of composite materials. It controls the ascent and descent of the helicopter. To date, IAI has manufactured over 4,000 stabilizers which are mounted on all the helicopters of the US military. The composite materials consist of graphite fibers that have been saturated with resin to enable molding an assembly that maintains the same physical properties and strength of the product. From a maintenance perspective, this is a highly durable product that withstands corrosion and erosion while being as strong as metal, according to IAI.
Moti Elmalech, General Manager of the IAI/ELTA Beer Sheva site, commented, "Being recognized with the award out of many vendors with a global reputation, especially during these challenging times, makes us even more gratified and proud. The ability to maintain perfect performance over time increases our motivation to keep up the good work for this strategic customer. We thank Lockheed Martin for its decision and for trusting us as their partners for so many years."
IAI was recognized for its compliance with the high standards Lockheed Martin demands of its suppliers, including quality, timeliness, response to special requirements, and attractive pricing.
IAI/ELTA Beer Sheva specializes in re-designing metal aircraft parts, antennas, and radar domes and their manufacturing from composites to drive down the costs and achieve significant weight reduction. It is part if the new innovative division which is being established at the site.