The first center fuselage to be used in the production of the first Turkish JSF/F-35 Lightning II aircraft has been delivered by Turkish aerospace leader Turkish Aerospace Industries, Inc. (TAI).
Delivery of the first Turkish JSF/F-35 aircraft is planned for 2018.
"Delivery of the first Turkish JSF/F-35 aircraft is a very important milestone." said Temel Kotil, Ph.D., CEO and President, TAI.
"TAI being one of the distinguished members of JSF/F-35 world-wide community will keep delivering highest quality Center Fuselages just on time."
The center fuselage has been designated as AT-1 andwill be delivered to Lockheed Martin in Fort Worth, Texas, for integration into the final assembly of the first Turkish JSF/F-35 aircraft.
It is the 21st center fuselage built by TAI and the aerospace firm will build a total of 400 F-35 center fuselages.
"TAI has played an integral part in the production of the JSF/F-35 for more than a decade," said Frank Carus, Vice President and JSF/F-35 Program Manager for Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems.
"They can be very proud of delivering the first TAI-built center fuselage to be used in the first Turkish JSF/F-35 - it's a big milestone for the program and a great team effort."
TAI produces center fuselages and delivers them to the Final Assembly and Checkout (FACO) facilities in Cameri, Italy, and Lockheed Martin in Fort Worth, Texas for the worldwide fleet of JSF/F-35s.
Turkey joined as one of the original partner countries on the JSF/F-35 programme in 2002 and began building composite parts for the JSF/F-35 in 2008.
TAI’s scope of work increased in 2009 to include building structural assemblies and the first TAI-built center fuselage was delivered in Dec. 2013.