That F-35A jet will be the first to be assembled at Japan’s F-35 final assembly and checkout facility in Nagoya, Northrop said Sunday.
The company added it held a ceremony Friday at its Palmdale Aircraft Integration Center of Excellence in California to mark the production milestone with F-35 prime contractor Lockheed.
Brian Chappel, a vice president and F-35 program manager at Northrop’s aerospace systems business, noted that the F-35 integrated assembly line at the Palmdale CoE works to support efforts to boost the quality, affordability and production rate of AX-5.
Northrop designs and manufactures the center fuselage for F-35 jets and will produce 42 for Japan.
Mitsubishi Heavy Industries will integrate AX-5 with the Lockheed-built forward fuselage and BAE Systems-built aft fuselage of the F-35A at the Nagoya facility.