Northrop Grumman increases F-35 centre fuselage production rate

written by | July 1, 2018
An F-35 centre fuselage is readied for delivery at the Northrop Grumman integrated assembly line (IAL) at Palmdale, California. (Northrop Grumman)

Manufacturing of the centre fuselage for the F-35 Lightning II fighter has entered full-rate production (FRP) at Northrop Grumman’s integrated assembly line (IAL) at Palmdale in California.

The centre fuselage production rate has increased to a production interval (PI) of 1.5 per day, meaning a centre fuselage for any of the three models of the F-35 is produced at the IAL every 1.5 work days.

The rate increase coincides with the delivery of the 400th F-35 centre fuselage to prime contractor Lockheed Martin in May, and the start of production of the 500th centre fuselage in late June.


The commencement of centre fuselage FRP anticipates a decision on F-35 FRP being made by the Pentagon through the JSF Program Office (JPO) in 2020.

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  • Raymond


    Yet another milestone as a significant component of the F-35 reaches full-rate production… oh how I feel more and more sorry for the anti-F-35 brigade…

  • Craigy


    An article from FlightGlobal says that the Canadians have requested an additional 7 F18s for a total of 25 airframes (18 flyable , 7 non flying) with the first 2 to be delivered in 2019. The additional 7 will be used for software testing and spares.

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