Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT) has received the first center fuselage for Australia’s fleet of F-35 fighter jets from Northrop Grumman (NYSE: NOC), who will manufacture 100 of the fuselages for Australia.
Thirty-five total F-35 center fuselages are in flow at Northrop’s integrated assembly line in Palmdale, Calif., including another center fuselage for Australia, Northrop said Thursday.
Australia is one of eight countries that plan to purchase the F-35 and joined the program 2002.
“This center fuselage will be incorporated into the first F-35 for the Royal Australian Air Force and will be delivered in 2014 for pilot training, ” said Brian Chappel, vice president of the F-35 program for Northrop Grumman’s aerospace systems sector.
“The first Australian center fuselage was inducted into our Integrated Assembly Line (IAL) at Palmdale last October and now we’ve delivered it.”
Northrop also produces the F-35’s radar and other avionics such as electro-optical, communications, navigation and identification subsystems.