Murrieta company has hand in building US military's F-35

MURRIETA, Calif. (KABC) -- The F-35 Lightning II comes with stealth technology, advanced sensors and supersonic speed, and is the most advanced piece of military weaponry in the world.

On Tuesday, employees at II-VI Optics Systems in Murrieta were treated to a flight simulation.

The company helped develop a piece of proprietary technology used on board the F-35.

"After several years of significant investment and tireless efforts by both Lockheed Martin team and the II-VI team here in Murrieta advanced the very first F-35 multi-segmented windows produced," said Bob Bashsaw, President of II-IV Optics System.

The synthetic sapphire window sits just underneath the F-35 and give the system's infrared targeting sensors an unobstructed view of targets on the ground or in the air.

"It is stressed for the speed of the aircraft so the F-35 can go up to Mach 1.6 and that window is tough enough to be able to still allow the pilot to operate," said Mike Otterblade with Lockheed Martin.

Lockheed Martin developed the fighter jet with more than 300 California companies supplying the F-35. The defense contractor says production of the $80 million fighter jet employed 38,000 Californians with an economic benefit of $14.9 billion to the state.

The United States Navy, Marine Corps and Air Force are already utilizing the fighter jet with the Marines and Air Force using them in combat operations.

"Basically, F-35 or the F-22 are the dominate aircraft in the air. No one can compete with them," said Representative Ken Calvert of Corona.

There are currently 420 F-35 in service with another 3,000 ordered for production for the U.S. military and allies.
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