has received the first composite parts for the Lockheed Martin
F-35 Lightning II from its supplier, Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI). The structural composite panels, which will be used on the outer surface of the fighter, are intended for the center fuselages of the first two production F-35s. Northrop received six panels for the first shipment — three for each aircraft. Plans call for TAI to manufacture 400 center fuselages for the program. The panels are also the initial F-35 parts to come from TAI’s new composites facility in Ankara, Turkey, which opened in November 2008. Under an agreement with Lockheed, Northrop is producing center fuselages for three variants of the F-35.
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