IBC Engineered Materials Corp., an investment caster, is making progress in its effort to land a spot as a supplier to Lockheed Martin, in support of its F-35 Lightning II jet program. According to its parent company, the Massachusetts foundry has been contracted to design, manufacture, and implement hard tooling that will be used in the final qualification process for Beralcast castings for precision optical components in the fighter jet design.

Lockheed builds the single-engine, “Stealth” enabled fighter jets (formerly known as the Joint Strike Fighter) for the U.S. and U.K. defense programs, for ground attack, reconnaissance, and air-defense missions.

IBC Engineered Materials is a subsidiary of IBC Advanced Alloys Corp. that casts beryllium-based alloys at a foundry in Wilmington, MA. It produces beryllium-based alloys and related products for several industrial sectors.

Its proprietary Beralcast alloys can be substituted for aluminum, magnesium, titanium, metal-matrix composites (as well as pure beryllium or powder metallurgy beryllium-aluminum) in applications calling for complex, lightweight and high-stiffness parts.

In December, IBC Engineered Materials announced it was working to qualify Beralcast alloys and its investment casting process with Lockheed for the F-35 Electro-optical Targeting System (EOTS) team.

Now, it reports the foundry has completed several advanced prototype castings for Lockheed, and will use the hard tooling to deliver a first article casting for pre-production approval.

The EOTS is a lightweight, multi-function system for air-to-air and air-to-surface targeting capability on the fighter jet.

"IBC is pleased to have received a hard tool contract from Lockheed Martin," stated Ray White, president of IBC-EMC. "We are committed to demonstrating the viability of Beralcast castings with a hard tool and to completing the final stages of our materials and processing qualifications."