First UK JSF takes shape

written by australianaviation.com.au | November 2, 2009

Northrop Grumman has commenced assembly of the first centre fuselage section for the for the UK’s first F-35B JSF.

The milestone commenced three days ahead of schedule at Northrop’s Palmdale facility north of Los Angeles, and will see the aircraft’s inlet duct, upper centre fuselage skin and other frames integrated before being shipped to Lockheed’s Fort Worth facility for final assembly.

The UK has a requirement for up to 138 F-35Bs including two development aircraft, but recent reports have suggested this may be reduced to as few as 50 if one of the Royal Navy’s aircraft carriers is cancelled or relegated to amphibious support duties.

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