PBS Leads Czech Consortium in Contract Signing with Lockheed Martin for F-35 Component Development

PBS partners with Czech companies ONE3D and HiLASE to develop alternative production process for critical aircraft component with Lockheed.
  • Defensemirror.com bureau
  • 07:09 AM, May 23, 2024
  • 608
PBS Leads Czech Consortium in Contract Signing with Lockheed Martin for F-35 Component Development
Italian Air Force F-35A Lightning II aircraft @F-35 JPO

PBS Velká Bíteš, alongside Czech firms ONE3D and HiLASE, inked a contract with Lockheed Martin on May 21, focusing on the joint development of an alternative production method for a "key F-35 aircraft component."

Milan Macholán, the CEO and Chairman of the Board of Directors of PBS Velká Bíteš, stated, "By 2029, we aim to achieve the necessary qualifications for this prestigious project and to integrate into the Lockheed Martin supply chain."

The project stands to leverage technologies offered by PBS and its partners, including additive manufacturing, laser surface treatment, and advanced vacuum furnace heat treatment. These methodologies will enable the production of a component meeting the quality and precision standards demanded by Lockheed Martin.

Czech Republic's F-35 Acquisition

In January 2024, the Czech Republic's government finalized a deal with the United States to procure 24 F-35 fighter jets, valued at approximately 150 billion Czech koruna ($6.6 billion), marking the largest single military purchase in Czech history. The initial delivery of the jets is scheduled for 2031, with completion expected by 2035, replacing the current fleet of 14 JAS-39 Gripen fighter jets from Sweden. Nearly $5 billion will cover aircraft acquisition, pilot training, and ammunition, with the remaining funds allocated for upgrading the Caslav air force base, fuel, and staff training.

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