May 2, 2020 – Kopin Corporation, a provider of wearable computing technologies and solutions, has this week announced that it has received an approximately USD $2.7 million follow-on order of its high-brightness liquid crystal display for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program. With the F-35 scheduled for production through 2030, Kopin anticipates additional orders over the life of the program.
The F-35 jet fighter is a single-seat, single-engine, all-weather, day and night stealth, multi-role combat aircraft. The jet is designed to perform both air superiority and strike missions while also providing electronic warfare and intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance. Much of the functionality is enabled through an augmented reality (AR) helmet, which provides pilots with vast quantities of flight, tactical, and sensor information for advanced situational awareness, precision and safety. The extensive functionality and extreme conditions require unique display technology and Kopin is the sole supplier to this production program.
The largest procurement program in the Department of Defense (DOD), the F-35 strike fighter aircraft is being procured in different configurations for multiple arms of the DOD, including the United States Air Force, Marine Corps, and Navy. The 500th production F-35 was delivered in March 2020 and Kopin reiterates that the current DOD plan is to acquire a minimum of 2,400 jets over the life of the program. In addition, US Allies are expected to purchase hundreds of F-35s with eight nations cost-sharing the program with the United States. With replacements, the total number of displays for the F-35 program is very substantial, according to Kopin.
“This follow-on order extends our backlog of scheduled deliveries into the second quarter of 2021, providing good visibility for our manufacturing plan,” stated Bill Maffucci, Kopin’s Vice President of Government Programs. “As the sole provider of displays to the F-35 production program, we benefit from our strong relationship with the DOD in obtaining valuable feedback, which we leverage to continuously improve our display technology. These enhancements have implications for the F-35 program as well as many future opportunities with the military as well as enterprise customers.”
Image credit: Kopin Corporation