Northrop Hands Lockheed Fuselage for Japan’s 1st F-35 Jet; Brian Chappel Comments

F-35Northrop Grumman has supplied Lockheed Martin a center fuselage to be integrated into an F-35 variant for the Japanese military.

“This on-time delivery marks another important step in the F-35 team’s drive to support and help fulfill our allies’ 21st century national security requirements,” Brian Chappel, a vice president and F-35 program manager at Northrop’s aerospace systems business, said Tuesday.

Japan ordered up to 42 F-35A conventional-takeoff-and-landing aircraft in 2012 through a $10 billion foreign military sales agreement with the U.S. government.

Lockheed will integrate the first aircraft, also known as AX-1, for Japan and the succeeding three units at a company-run final assembly and checkout facility in Fort Worth, Texas.

The remaining F-35As will be assembled at a FACO center in Nagoya, Japan.

Northrop designs and manufactures fuselage technology for the Lockheed-led Joint Strike Fighter program and has delivered 44 F-35 center fuselages during 2015.

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