Engineering Speed, Stealth and Agility

Howmet Aerospace innovation helps the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter soar

The Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II, also known as the Joint Strike Fighter (JSF), is one of the most sophisticated defense aircraft ever to take flight—and Howmet Aerospace innovation helps make it soar.


The JSF hits Mach 1.6 under the thrust of the most advanced engine on earth. It’s a superior fighting machine in every way, not least of all for its sheer ambition. The most cutting-edge materials, integrated airframe design, and next-generation avionics enable this 5th generation fighter to operate with unprecedented stealth, speed and agility in air-to-air and air-to-ground combat. 

Engineering the unprecedented
In developing this complex machine, Lockheed Martin turned to Howmet Aerospace for many of its critical parts. These include single-piece forged aluminum bulkheads that form the “backbone” of the aircraft structure and save 300 to 400 pounds per jet and up to 20 percent in costs. We also supply titanium bulkheads and the titanium material used to manufacture other airframe structures for all three F-35 JSF variants.

To propel the powerful engine, we supply single-crystal, nickel-based superalloy blades and vanes that operate in environments hotter than the melting point of the metal. And our seamless rolled rings encase the engine parts.

To hold together the complex design, our vibration-resistant fasteners are engineered to endure the most extreme G-forces and performance requirements.

From nose to tail, Howmet Aerospace solutions are helping our customer meet aggressive weight, range and fuel efficiency targets and enabling the F-35 to do what other military aircraft can’t.