Turkish Aerospace Industries, Inc. (TAI), a Northrop Grumman Corporation second-source supplier based in Ankara, Turkey, has delivered the first center fuselage to be used in the production of the first Turkish JSF/F-35 Lightning II aircraft.
Designated AT-1, this center fuselage is the 21st center fuselage built by TAI and will be delivered to Lockheed Martin in Fort Worth, Texas, for integration into the final assembly of the first Turkish JSF/F-35 aircraft. Delivery of the first Turkish JSF/F-35 aircraft is planned for 2018.
TAI produces center fuselages for the worldwide fleet of JSF/F-35s and delivers them to the Final Assembly and Checkout (FACO) facilities in Cameri, Italy, and Lockheed Martin in Fort Worth, Texas.
TAI began building composite parts for the JSF/F-35 in 2008. Their scope of work increased in 2009 to include building structural assemblies. The first TAI-built center fuselage was delivered in Dec. 2013. TAI will build 400 center fuselages.
“Delivery of the first Turkish JSF/F-35 aircraft is a very important milestone.” said Temel Kotil, Ph.D., Chief Executive Officer 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.”
“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’s enduring contributions to the F-35 Program continue to drive significant results for the business,” said Jeff Babione, Executive Vice President & General Manager of the F-35 Lightning II Program, Lockheed Martin. “Through TAI’s production of F-35 center fuselages, the strength of our industrial partnership is clearly evident.”
In 2002, Turkey joined as one of the original partner countries on the JSF/F-35 program. The other partner countries are Australia, Canada, Denmark, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, United Kingdom and the United States. Partners had direct input in the design phase of the aircraft and like TAI; companies worldwide are now participating in the JSF/F-35’s production.