An F-35 fighter is a high-tech weapon that’s become part of a new $39 million contract; the pilots’ helmets produced for these U.S. fighters, however, will not be made only nationally but in Israel. According to Web Pro News this Sunday, Oct. 13, BAE Systems — a manufacturing giant from New Hampshire — suffered a financial loss under Pentagon’s new F-35 economic industrialized contract.
The F-35 fighter is just one piece of the puzzle under the Pentagon’s announcement this week, where a statement confirmed that production for the novel pilot’s helmet of the Joint Strike Fighter, the F-35, would be made solely by Rockwell Collins, located in Cedar Rapids, and by Israel’s Elbit Systems.
According to the press release, the statement is part of a $39 contract that includes the F-35 fighter manufacturing and new helmets, as well as spare mechanical parts, systems engineering, infrared missile warning programs, and advanced forms of technical support hailing from BAE Systems.
While BAE Systems was no doubt happy about this part of the news, the New Hampshire production client was likely disappointed to miss out on the $39 million contract for the new F-35 fighter and accompanying helmet, losing the business to Israel. The company has a massive stake in the modern electronic warfare programs used by the air fighter.
A director for the U.S. headquarters of BAE Systems said in a statement about the loss to the Israel manufacturing company:
“[We are] disappointed at the decision by Lockheed Martin and the Joint Strike Fighter Program Office to discontinue the pursuit of a second helmet for the F-35 aircraft [with our company].”
The F-35 fighter aircraft will provide pilots with a technologically advanced and unique sophisticated helmet that offers a novel user interface that can see the battlefield in an expansive format. Ending the BAE’s side of the work on the second helmet is believed to save Lockheed Martin’s an estimated $47 million, considering that nearly $60 million has already been spent on the project.
“The AFP reports that the Israel-based Elbit systems was similarly involved in the F-35 fighter project by means of aircraft parts, and Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon saw the Pentagon’s decision as “a vote of confidence in Israel’s defence industries and their people… I congratulate Elbit Systems on becoming a partner in this global flagship project to produce the world’s most advanced warplane.”