In February 2007, Northrop Grumman signed a letter of intent with TAI to also make it a second source for producing F-35 center fuselages. Under that agreement, TAI will produce a minimum of 400 center fuselages starting during LRIP-2. Northrop Grumman currently produces all F-35 center fuselages at its F-35 assembly facility in Palmdale, Calif.
Northrop Grumman’s roles on the F-35 team include producing the aircraft’s center fuselage, key radar and electro-optical subsystems, and the aircraft’s communication, navigation and identification avionics. It also provides mission systems and mission-planning software; and develops pilot and maintenance training systems.
Northrop Grumman Corporation is a $30 billion global defense and technology company whose 120,000 employees provide innovative systems, products, and solutions in information and services, electronics, aerospace and shipbuilding to government and commercial customers worldwide.
UNDER THE F-35 CENTER FUSELAGE PRODUCTION PROGRAM, TAI WILL GAIN THE FOLLOWING TECHNOLOGICAL CAPABILITIES
High precision advanced technology composite part production, high level digital integration between design and production period,
Robotic controlled drilling, cutting and integration processes,
Fiber placement techniques with automatic machining for sophisticated structures,
Composite and metal bonding techniques by using high technology,
Robotic controlled precise coating and painting applications,
High standard quality applications required for 5th generation fighter aircraft.
With the LOI, a strong strategic cooperation, which will last at least for 20 years, will be established between TAI and Northrop Grumman. This cooperation, to be initiated with Northrop Grumman, the prime contractor of the center fuselage of the F-35 Lightning II aircraft, is expected to be a long lasting and fruitful relationship that will lead to future programs.
The infrastructural investments that will be made at TAI for the JSF center fuselage production program, is believed to make TAI one of the few aerospace companies that have such capabilities.
Chosen for its best-value approach, TAI exemplifies the objective of Northrop Grumman and the entire F-35 team to bring unprecedented and innovative technologies to the armed forces. With the initiation of the production of the F-35 center fuselage at TAI’s facilities, TAI aims to become a worldwide center of excellence by upgrading its existing technology for the production of 5th generation combat aircraft.
With the JSFwork packages, TAI will not only contribute to the local economy, but also provide employment for approximately 500 engineers and technicians for the next two decades
ANKARA, Turkey – 10. December, 2007 – Turkish Aerospace Industries, Inc. (TAI) has been authorized by Northrop Grumman Corporation to begin fabricating subassemblies for the first two F-35 production aircraft. The authorization represents the first F-35 contract received by TAI under a long term agreement signed with Northrop Grumman in 2005.
The subassemblies – composite components and aircraft access doors – will be used in the F-35 center fuselage, a major section of the aircraft being produced by Northrop Grumman, a principal member of the Lockheed Martin-led F-35 global industry team.
“In order to meet and support the requirements of the F-35 program, we have been making significant investments both for the new technologies and facilities” said Muharrem Dortkasli, general manager for TAI. “This agreement, which will last for at least 20 years, is a very important milestone for the strong and strategic partnership between Northrop Grumman and TAI.”
“Strong international participation in the F-35 program is critical to ensuring the successful production, delivery and sustainment of the world’s most advanced multi-role combat aircraft,” said Janis Pamiljans, vice president and F-35 program manager for Northrop Grumman’s Integrated Systems sector. “This agreement adds significant momentum to our very successful partnership with TAI for the production of critical F-35 subassemblies.”
According to Muharrem Dortkasli, “TAI will each serve as a second source supplier to Northrop Grumman during F-35 low rate initial production (LRIP). It will begin producing aircraft parts required for the initial phase, known as LRIP-1 and will procure the raw materials required to produce parts for LRIP-2. TAI has been selected as the only source located outside of USA for the F-35 Lightning II CTOL Center Fuselages. Deliveries of Center Fuselages will start in 2013 and continue during the full production phase.”
The F-35 Lightning II is a stealthy, supersonic multi-role fighter designed to replace a wide range of aging fighter and strike aircraft. It is being produced in three variants – conventional take-off and landing (CTOL), short take-off/vertical landing (STOVL) and a carrier variant (CV) – to meet the diverse performance needs of the U.S. Air Force, the U.S. Marine Corps, the U.S. Navy and allied defense forces worldwide. The three variants use a high degree of commonality to meet strict affordability requirements.
TAI’s modern aircraft facilities, located in Ankara-Turkey, are furnished with high technology machinery and equipment that provide extensive manufacturing capabilities ranging from parts manufacturing to aircraft assembly and flight tests. TAI also designs, develops and integrates aerospace systems and provides modernization and after sales support services.
Last edited by Khan_Han; 27 Dec 07, at 02:26.
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