Posted by John McHale
PALMDALE, Calif., 2 July 2011. Northrop Grumman officials (NYSE: NOC) announced that they delivered the first center fuselage for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) for the Netherlands to Lockheed Martin. The center fuselage is the core structure around which the F-35 aircraft is built . It was constructed at Northrop Grumman's facility in Palmdale, Calif.
Northrop Grumman designs and produces the center fuselages for all three variants of F-35 aircraft: CTOL, short takeoff, vertical landing (STOVL), as well as a carrier variant. Northrop Grumman also delivered a STOVL variant to England.
Northrop Grumman engineers also designed and produced the aircraft's radar and other key avionics systems including electro-optical and communications subsystems; develops mission systems and mission-planning software. The company 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.
To date Northrop Grumman has delivered 48 center fuselages. Final assembly of all F-35 jets is performed by Lockheed Martin, a process that includes mating the center fuselage to an aft fuselage produced by BAE systems; and the forward fuselage, cockpit, and wings produced by Lockheed Martin.