EL SEGUNDO, Calif., March 18, 2009 -- Turkish Aerospace Industries, Inc. (TAI), a major international supplier to Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE:NOC) on the F-35 Lightning II aircraft program, has produced and delivered its first structural assemblies for the jet.
The metallic assemblies, which contain more than 100 parts each, represent the next major step forward in TAI's evolving role as a second source supplier of complete F-35 center fuselages. The company delivered its first F-35 composite parts in late 2008.
The assemblies from TAI will be used in center fuselages for F-35 conventional takeoff and landing (CTOL) variants. Northrop Grumman, a principal member of the Lockheed Martin-led F-35 industry team, is currently assembling those CTOL center fuselages in Palmdale, Calif., as part of the second phase of F-35 low rate initial production.
"We are very encouraged by TAI's steady progress in maturing the production and assembly processes that will be required to eventually produce 400 center fuselages for the program," said Mark Tucker, vice president of tactical systems and F-35 program manager for Northrop Grumman's Aerospace Systems sector.
TAI is scheduled to produce this metallic structural assembly for all CTOL center fuselages currently planned for the F-35 program, added Tucker. All of the assemblies will be produced in TAI's manufacturing facility in Ankara, Turkey. Northrop Grumman previously produced the assembly in Palmdale.
Northrop Grumman is responsible for the design and production of center fuselages for all three variants of F-35 aircraft: CTOL; short take-off, vertical landing; and carrier-compatible. The F-35 Lightning II program expects to build more than 3,100 aircraft.
As a member of the F-35 global industry team, Northrop Grumman is central to the development, production and support of the F-35 Lightning II. The company designed and produces the aircraft's center fuselage, radar and other key avionics including electro-optical and communications subsystems; develops mission systems and mission-planning software; leads the team's development of pilot and maintenance training system courseware; and manages the team's use, support and maintenance of low-observable technologies.
Northrop Grumman Corporation is a leading global security company whose 120,000 employees provide innovative systems, products, and solutions in aerospace, electronics, information systems, shipbuilding and technical services to government and commercial customers worldwide.
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