F-35 Fighter Helmets Now Made in Israel

By: Bennett Rieser - October 13, 2013

The New Hampshire Union Leader reported this week that New Hampshire’s largest manufacturing employer, BAE Systems, was dealt a financial blow by the Pentagon’s F-35 contract.

The Pentagon announced earlier this week that manufacturing for the pilot’s helmet of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter would be performed exclusively by Rockwell Collins in Cedar Rapids, IA and Elbit Systems in Israel. The announcement was part of a $39 million contract announcement that included infrared missile warning systems, spare parts, systems engineering, and technical support coming from BAE Systems.

Although BAE welcomed the news, they were disheartened that they did not receive the contract for the F-35 fighter helmet because their company has a stake in the electronic warfare systems utilized by the fighter. Kristin L. Gossel, director of external engagement for U.S. headquarters of BAE Systems in Arlington, Va, said that the company is “disappointed at the decision by Lockheed Martin and the Joint Strike Fighter Program Office to discontinue the pursuit of a second helmet for the F-35 aircraft.”

The F-35 comes equipped with a technically sophisticated helmet that permits pilots an advanced user interface from which to view the battlefield. Lockheed Martin’s spokesperson, Laura Siebert, said that stopping BAE’s work on the helmet would save $47 million, and that $57 million had already been spent on BAE’s efforts.

The AFP reports that the Israel-based Elbit systems was also involved in the F-35 project by means of aircraft parts, and Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon saw the Pentagon’s decision as “a vote of confidence in Israel’s defence industries and their people… I congratulate Elbit Systems on becoming a partner in this global flagship project to produce the world’s most advanced warplane.”

The Israeli daily newspaper Yediot Aharanot reported that Israel’s air force has already ordered 19 F-35 fighters, and that the Israeli-made helmet would be “part and parcel” of all stealth aircraft made from 2016 onward. 4000 F-35 fighters are currently slated for manufacture, meaning the Pentagon contract could be worth over $1 billion over a decade.

Although the software is Israeli-made, the new helmet will be not be made entirely by Israel; its final manufacture will be performed by Rockwell Collins in the United States.

Here’s some footage of an F-35 Joint Strike Fighter:

[Image via this YouTube video of Lockheed Martin F-35 testing]
Bennett Rieser

About the Author

Bennett RieserBennett is a college-educated contract writer with WebProNews. When not bombarded by fascinating news or political upheaval, he spends his time relaxing with good friends, loyal family, and typically some of the many bastions of free internet discourse.

View all posts by Bennett Rieser
  • Call Me Crazy

    Call me crazy but we have this worldwide war on terror and everything is supposedly a threat to the United States. So much so, that we are being spied on constantly. In fact, as you read this, you are being spied on by some computer in our government.

    Even though this is the case, we think it is perfectly safe to manufacture our military equipment overseas? This simply does not make sense. What is even more crazy is that many of our component parts and base metals come from overseas already. The raw materials that make all those components could literally be choked off by foreign governments.

    I don’t want to hear about all the “terrorist” things that make the U.S. less safe. It is all nonsense. What is making America less safe is shipping all our jobs overseas and giving foreign governments access to our technology — at any level. Then again who am I kidding — the governments wants me to believe that a group of terrorists with box cutters are the real threats.

    Get real.

    • David

      Call Me Crazy.. It is Israel. I doubt they are going to turn over this technology to the terrorists given they fight terrorism on a daily basis and have been since the 50’s.

      • Call Me Crazy

        It is not just a matter of Israel — it is the matter of component parts and raw materials for equipment. Many of the things we make here in the US need raw materials from foreign countries.

        According to AmericanManufacturing.org:

        1.) The United States is almost entirely dependent on other countries for 19 metals necessary to build advanced electronics and different steel products. To make the matter worse, many of these metals are mined in volatile places. The clincher? The U.S. imports these metals despite having considerable domestic resources for many of them. In other words we send our tax dollars overseas to buy metals from sometimes volatile places when we could be paying American workers to mine them here.

        2.) China is making 75% of the world’s high-tech magnets, the United States is making 0%. High-tech magnets are needed to manufacture military vehicles and equipment, including: helicopters, some jet fighters, HELLFIRE missiles, submarines, and Navy destroyers, among others. This raises some better questions, such as: “What happens if we no longer have access to China’s high-tech magnets?”

        3.) U.S. manufacturers produced a mere 1% of the lithium-ion batteries manufactured globally in 2010. Lithium-ion batteries are used in fighter jets, helicopters, missiles, and bomb disposal robots, to name a few pieces of equipment.

        4.) Semiconductors, necessary for missile guidance systems, artillery rocket systems, radars, sensors, bombs, and fighter jets, among other uses, are made primarily outside of the United States. To be specific, 15% of semiconductors in the world are American-made, down from nearly 50% in 1980.

        5.) The rocket fuel that propels U.S. Hellfire missiles is made by a single Chinese company. HELLFIRE missiles are our most widely used and effective weapon, and our ability to use them is contingent upon one Chinese company. Contemplate that.

        – See more at: http://americanmanufacturing.org/blog/five-reasons-you-should-be-concerned-about-us-militarys-reliance-foreign-manufacturers#sthash.Psfw6lxc.dpuf

      • c c daniels

        No foreign country should be making crucial parts for the most expensive aircraft the USA has ever made. Particularly Israel. No other country receives more US military aid and they are NOT worth the expense. They spit in our faces by building more settlements and we reward them! Never forget the USS Liberty!!!

        • Dark

          Ahem, why the outrage? You do understand that BAE systems is British right? When another defense contractor that is not British turns up, all this nonsense talk about losing American jobs ensues. Its been happening all along.

      • @David

        Wake up. It is not just Israel we are farming things out to. Do you know how many components we farm out or purchase from other nations? A lot. Do some research on arms manufacturing and you will see that we are greatly exposed.

        By the way, we created Al Qaeda in 1979 and funded them with $3.5 billion dollars. Friends and enemies change like the wind in the world.

      • http://d ice cold

        Isreal is not a country that the USA’s (citizens) can Trust with Anything. If Isreal was the USA they could block their borders and say good luck.. eventually they will control the USA as now they do our Fed reserve and congress. Just a matter of time before they elect an american that is jewish
        and then look out… Americans will be slaves in poverty in a few short centurys… Take a look around you… it is happening right before your eyes..

        • Ted Lasky

          Ice Cold…you;re an idiot arab, right? LOL, LMAO

          Don’t be upset just because those Jews are so much smarter than you’ll ever be.

        • Ted Lasky

          Ice Cold…you;re an idiot arab, right? LOL, LMAO

          Don’t be upset just because those Jews are so much smarter than you’ll ever be.

        • Ted Lasky

          Ice Cold…you;re an idiot arab, right? LOL, LMAO

          Don’t be upset just because those Jews are so much smarter than you’ll ever be.

        • Ted Lasky

          Ice Cold…you;re an idiot arab, right? LOL, LMAO

          Don’t be upset just because those Jews are so much smarter than you’ll ever be.

        • Ted Lasky

          Ice Cold…you;re an idiot arab, right? LOL, LMAO

          Don’t be upset just because those Jews are so much smarter than you’ll ever be.

        • Rosh Gadol

          Ice Cold, the country is spelled Israel, not Isreal. You should get mo’ educated

  • Jerry Sparks

    It sounds like someone is out of work

  • Teresa

    Americans are out of work – put Americans to work and have them make the helmets for the pilots.
    It’s a shame that we give work to other countries and Americans who are born and raised here are in need of jobs.
    It’s a real shame.

    • joe

      your a 100% right and more Americans should put Americans job.s frist

  • http://yahoo kenneth o’connor

    Nice to see we are working with our FRIENDS not our enemies. God bless Israel

  • Will

    I’ll bet America is paying full retail with a special markup just for us.

    • sparkie50

      Hell Yeah,, I bet so too!!!

  • http://yahoo paul

    there is a things call ITAR that stats Military equioment must be build in the USA.

    • Ken

      Actually it doesn’t. Lots of military equipment is made in foreign countries.

      • john

        I love AK-47, NATO and Russian ammo.

    • eskede

      ITAR or EAR doesn’t matter. Sensitive drawings and top secret technical know-hows have a strange way to go to foreign hands. Remember, ITT was fined $100 million for sending a top secret Night Vision drawing to Singapore and finally to China.
      We are just plain old greedy.

      • Nunyabisnes

        Actually it does matter, it matters that you pay the annual fee’s to the State Dept. to earn the right to manufacture for the US Gov. That said you also can be in a foreign country and be a foreign company and still manufacture sensitive materials. Dumb huh??
        Just goes to show just how incredibly greedy our Government has become when all that matters to them is that the applicant’s pay them first!! While at the very same time they turn their collective backs of the people/ businesses/ constituents in their own country in their worst time of need. Especially for competent leadership.


    Doesn’t matter, parts for the F-16 were made in Israel.

  • Meow Ming

    Stupid Americans!! Why avail the services of some Israeli helmet manufacturer instead of a chinese military supplier? chinese suppliers can produce this kind of helmet at half the price. Not only that, F35 pilots can buy the helmet and get another for free. Good deal eh. What say you, pilots?

    • Kevin

      Non-sense post. Why? Can not trust China and its “Made in China” products.

    • johnM

      Trying to be funny? It’s not working dips!@T!!!

    • Ted Lasky

      …because the Chinese helmet would be so heavy, because of all the lead you’d use, that pilots wouldn’t be able to keep their heads from falling over.

      It’s time we stopped showing China how to make all of our stuff. They are a trading partner, NOT A FRIEND. You never know when they’ll start a war over some tiny island they want. They have as much land as the US, or Canada, but they still want to frighten all their neighbors over a parcel of land that could hardly support a gas station.

      Wake-up China, stop being such bastards.

  • Bulya

    Is that a misprint of 4,000 F-35 aircraft to be built? How many for the USA and how many for foreign sale? I can only think of a few countries we would trust with the technology. That is a ton of money when we need to be cutting spending in all areas including defense. I know it is jobs but you can’t have it both ways there needs to be a fine line and balance.

    • Sam

      Why not cancel all the F-35’s? We don’t need them and we can’t afford them.

  • http://www.webpronews.com/f-35-fighter-helmets-now-made-in-israel-2013-10#respond R.B.Peterson

    My friends. I write you today with some very sad news. This confirms that we have some of the most ignorant people in all branches of our government. This is quite honestly some of the most asinine actions that our congress and economy, and for all that matters, the pride of our American workforce, continues to deal with. Washington does nothing to help us with creating jobs, and all they want to do is belly ache that the other party does nothing to help. We have the most educated congress in our history and we continue to get this kind of nonsense. American people need to be OUTRAGED at this, and I for one am PISSED over this!!!

    • enuabk

      Please understand that no matter how intelligent or educated you are, if you are in Congress and want to win the next election, you have to play ball. Money talks. That’s just the size of it.

  • sparkie50

    And we’re supposed to be making things over here in America
    for more JOBS!!!!!!!

    STUPID STUPID STUPID GOVT ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !

    • Boonlert Meesawat

      Are you laboring under the illusion that there is not a significant Jewish representation in this administration? There are a number of articles pointing out that it is much more than the 2% share of the population – more like 30% of the senior execs in many departments. Start with the FED and its governors, Treasury and IRS, the Supreme Court. The problem is not how many but the quality of what is serving. The government gets people who lack the intellect or business skills to develop a business model. We are not getting the Larry Ellisons, the Michael Dells, the Zuckerbergs, the Brins, the Ballmers, the Paul Allens, the Larry Pages – and this is just in the IT sector. Government service gets the Barney Franks,the Weiners, the Spitzers, the Wasserman-Schultzes, the Chuck Shumers and those who cop the fifth when under oath. Spare calling me a racist – I may be Jewish for all you know. Merely seeking other opinions.

      • stevo


      • Lenya

        All but one of the people you quoted in the private IT sector are Jews and most of the Jews you quoted in government have a bachelors or masters degree in their profession. You could be Jewish after all but is that a bad thing ? I dont think so.

  • http://yahoo Gary

    It seems the U.S. had a choice, since our country outsources nearly everything, to choose between China or Israel…. I am amazed that some unknown person in our industry chose Israel…over China…It leads me to believe that there is someone left that understands the China threat to our world…. Someone is putting country over profit….This is so unusual these days….

    • jim


  • http://yahoo paul marbrey

    What the hell is going on ? We have AMERICANS out of work that can build one hundred times better than the israelis can and will perform more than one time . Hasn’t anyone learned anything about the garbage made by foreign countries ? If not ,take a look at Walmart’s inventory . AMERICAN MADE products are made to last for thirty years ,where foreign made products only last for thirty seconds .After all, we have been bailing them out for years.I think we need to stick to AMERICAN MADE for our MILITARY, because in the end the israelis will be using these products against us in war .

    • Lenya

      You are sorely mistaken…US experts and military analysts have written many articles and journals concerning the fact that Israel has surpassed the US in many technological advances particularly in military innovation. Lockheed which is a business and need to make money isnt stupid in giving Israel the contract for the helmets as Israel leads the world in the building of fighter Jet helmets. Israel invented the first jet fighter helmets to shoot at what the pilot sees. The US with all its vast finances and technology could have never come up with the Iron Dome…The US is held back by red tape and too much government control and the experts say that what takes Israel 2 to 3 years to design, build, test and put in action would take the US ten years. So stop putting down Israel as a backward eastern country. The US today sends its miltary experts, scientists, soldiers. pilots, and other defense expert to learn and pick ther minds of their Israeli counterparts.

  • edward Tsuckerman

    This is a piece of shit now is the time to attack infadels!

  • Joe Moriarty

    I guess our unemployment rate is now 0%.
    This country is so screwed up, it’s beyond help!
    Grab a drink and watch it fold.

  • jim

    you all need to help spread the word. EVERY ONE in our Congress and House of reps need to be fired(voted out)!!!

  • Terry

    Most do not realize that Israel has been on the cutting edge of innovation, and successful at it, for a long time now.
    Check out their studies on Medical Marijuana and Irrigation. You will be pleasantly surprised.

  • http://thefightingTroops Thezap 1

    The union priced them self,s out of another deal.Isreal will give the helmet quality and reliability,

  • david

    This is a joke right……………….Got to be kidding me.

  • Daves

    Darwin always has the final say…by that I mean, if you observe nature left to its own state, the survival will always be the strongest and most able to modify over time based on the species need to survive. We don’t leave anything alone, its all artificial and complicated with man’s higher intelligence…this is a perfect example of how mankind has really screwed up the natural order of things!

  • Pete

    Way to go USA Government!..Lets fund some more terrorist activates overseas. F-ing losers! And all while people are starving for employment and money. UNF_INGBELIVABLE

  • Larry

    Another slap in face for our unemployed workers thanks to Sheik Hussein and his band of thugs.


    Way to go, rest assured the technology will end up in Chinas hands soon Israel will make a killing selling off our technology.

  • stevo

    You have GOT to be kidding me! Made in Cedar Rapids Iowa….in the heart of America….By a F’n Israeli company????????????? WTF is wrong with this picture? WHEN IS IT GOING TO STOP????????????????????

  • General Patton

    This is treason by whomever in our Pentagon up to the President allowed this to happen.

    • Fleener Richards

      This countries leaders give contracts to Israel to manufacture Flight Helmets.The US has manufactured the latest technology in flight equipment for years and now the Government farms this technology out to Israel. My question is, why Bell or other high tech firms were not given this contract, that is paid for by American tax dollars. Isn’t it time that this lame president and Congress places American workers at the forefront, in awarding contracts.This is the same bunch that revealed missile shield interceptor technology to Israel and placed a number of shields in this country.This is the same President that offered to declassify this technology and offer it to Russia. His actions suggest that he is a Socialist President trying to ruin America.

      This President and Congress has lowered the Social Security Cola, which serves to save money for a big Congress raise and to pay billions out in Foreign Aid, to other countries.I bet not one payment will be held up for foreign Aid, while the Government is shut down. Every time a suggestion is made to cut foreign Aid, the Government protects it, by saying it represents only 1% of our total spending. Try subtracting 1% of the total debt we owe and see how small this figure is.We Americans have our federal benefits and employment cut and endure job furloughs, while we support other countries.The trend is to give or taxes and jobs away to other countries, while we have unemployeed in America.

      We have a huge deficit with China, that drains off the assets of this country.They manipulate their currency constantly against their yuan to make their goods cheaper to buy than American goods.China owns almost eight percent of our debt securities. There is a ray of hope for the US in the future. China tells the world, they will build on their economy by switching to inner sales within China. To prepare for this change. it would require the US to concentrate on restoring manufacturing in America. This should begin immediately.Manufacturing giants in China should close operations and return manufacturing to the US.Executives are realizing that suppressed countries are waking up and demanding higher wages to improve their live style.
      Fleener Richards.

  • john

    I think that Russia or China is better suited to make the helmets ?

  • http://unionleader.com Carl Perreault

    Error at the end of the story, total F-35 program cost will top $1 Trillion not $1 Billion.

    • Bennett Rieser


      I was referring in that paragraph to a report from the Israeli daily newspaper Yediot Aharanot, which reported that the specific contract would be worth over $1 billion over a decade. I am aware that the bloated costs of the entire F-35 weapons program, first announced when Clinton was president, will cost will over $1 trillion, but with regard to my story, I believe the $1 billion dollar figure refers exclusively to Elbit Systems’ deal to build the F-35 helmet, not the entire cost of the program.

  • Tim DeFreest

    What most people do not realize is that the Isreali did not have to contract Lockheed Martin for the F-35. There are other choices, such as China’s J-31, Japan’s F-X, Russia’s T-50… the list goes on.

    The Government should be commended for practically trading a $35 million contract for a $1 trillion contract.

    Read between the lines.