Alcoa is a key partner and supplier to Lockheed Martin's F-35 program, providing several key components:
With its recent contract announcement, Alcoa becomes the exclusive titanium plate and billet supplier for airframe components for all three variants of the F-35 over nine years, from 2016 to 2024
Multiple structural aircraft body components including the largest titanium bulkheads – the “backbone” of the aircraft structure – forged in one piece for the CTOL variant (approximately 75 percent of all F-35s produced are CTOLs), as well as the largest forged aluminum bulkheads, which Alcoa also manufactures in one piece, saving 300-400 pounds per jet
Forged aluminium wheels and brakes that can withstand extremely high temperatures, enabling them to run longer
Fasteners and installation tooling that hold the aircraft together, which can be easily installed in the most hard-to-reach areas—important given the complex design and performance requirements of the aircraft
Machined aluminum and titanium “vane box” assemblies that direct air flow, enabling the vertical landing capabilities of the STOVL
Several high-performance components for the F-135 engine, including seamless rolled rings that encase the engine parts, titanium forged disks, and advanced single-crystal, nickel superalloy blades and vanes that enable the engine to operate at temperatures hotter than the melting point of the superalloys, increasing fuel efficiency.