Alcoa Wins Titanium Contract with Lockheed Martin for F-35 Joint Strike Fighter

October 7, 2015

Alcoa to Supply Titanium for All F-35 Variants Under Nine-Year Deal

  • Contract draws on new titanium capabilities gained through RTI acquisition
  • Builds on broad portfolio of multi-material products Alcoa already supplies to the F-35 program, from engine to aircraft body
  • Alcoa well positioned to support Lockheed Martin’s full-rate production goal of 13 aircraft a month by the mid-2020s, up from an average of three aircraft per month in 2014
  • Contract has an estimated value of approximately $1.1 billion at current projected build rates

Lightweight metals leader Alcoa (NYSE: AA) today 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 $1.1 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 Chairman and Chief Executive
Officer 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.

“This contract with Alcoa is a key element in securing our supply chain
with a strong U.S. partner for a critical, strategic raw material,” said
Dan Pleshko, vice president of Lockheed Martin Aeronautics’ Enterprise
Supply Chain Management.

In addition to the forged titanium bulkheads, Alcoa already supplies
several key, multi-material components for the F-35, including:

  • Multiple structural aircraft body components including the largest
    forged aluminum bulkheads, which Alcoa manufactures in one piece—as
    opposed to multi-piece assemblies—saving 300-400 pounds per jet,
    helping Lockheed Martin meet aggressive weight, range and fuel
    efficiency targets and reduce machining and assembly time;
  • Advanced aluminum die forgings for the critical wheel and braking
  • 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; and
  • 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.

The F-35 Lightning II is an advanced fighter aircraft combining stealth,
speed and agility, designed
for many kinds of missions
. Lockheed Martin’s full-rate production
goal is 13 aircraft a month by the mid-2020s, up from an average of
three aircraft delivered per month in 2014.

Alcoa has been growing its multi-material aerospace business to capture
growth in the global aerospace market in support of its broader
transformation. Alcoa recently acquired global titanium leader RTI
International Metals
, aerospace components manufacturer TITAL
and global jet engine parts leader Firth
. Alcoa also has grown organically. It opened the world’s
largest aluminum-lithium facility in Lafayette, Indiana,
launched expansions to increase jet engine parts production in La
 and Hampton,
, began installation of advanced aerospace plate
manufacturing capabilities in Davenport,
, announced plans to double its coatings capabilities for jet
engine components in Whitehall,
and announced an investment in technology that strengthens
the metallic structures of traditional and additive manufactured parts,
also in Whitehall,

About Alcoa

A global leader in lightweight metals technology, engineering and
manufacturing, Alcoa innovates multi-material solutions that advance our
world. Our technologies enhance transportation, from automotive and
commercial transport to air and space travel, and improve industrial and
consumer electronics products. We enable smart buildings, sustainable
food and beverage packaging, high-performance defense vehicles across
air, land and sea, deeper oil and gas drilling and more efficient power
generation. We pioneered the aluminum industry over 125 years ago, and
today, our more than 60,000 people in 30 countries deliver value-add
products made of titanium, nickel and aluminum, and produce
best-in-class bauxite, alumina and primary aluminum products. For more
information, visit,
follow @Alcoa on Twitter at
and follow us on Facebook at

In addition to the F-35, Alcoa has been a partner and supplier to the
military for decades, enabling high-performance defense vehicles across
air, land and sea. For more information on Alcoa Defense please visit

About Lockheed Martin

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 $45.6 billion.

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