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updated: 4/24/2013 7:17 AM

Israel to make wings for F-35 warplanes

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  • An F-35 B Lightning II from VMFA 121 roars off the runway at Marine Corps Air Station Yuma, Ariz. Israel Aerospace Industries says it has signed a long-term contract with U.S. defense giant Lockheed Martin to produce wings for the F-35 next-generation fighter jet.

      An F-35 B Lightning II from VMFA 121 roars off the runway at Marine Corps Air Station Yuma, Ariz. Israel Aerospace Industries says it has signed a long-term contract with U.S. defense giant Lockheed Martin to produce wings for the F-35 next-generation fighter jet.
    Associated Press

 
Associated Press

JERUSALEM) -- Israel Aerospace Industries says it has signed a long-term contract with U.S. defense giant Lockheed Martin to produce wings for the F-35 next-generation fighter jet.

The state-owned company said Tuesday the contract is for 10 to 15 years and could generate up to $2.5 billion in sales. It says the wings will be made at an Israeli facility that already produces wings for Lockheed's F-16 warplane.

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The F-35 is the Pentagon's most expensive weapons program, with an estimated cost of nearly $400 billion. The program aims to replace a wide range of existing aircraft for the U.S. and several partner countries.

The program has suffered repeated delays. The Pentagon briefly grounded its small fleet of F-35s in February after discovering a small crack in an engine turbine blade.

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