Turkish Industry Getting Ready for F-35

Turkish Aerospace Industries, a member of the F-35 strike fighter’s global industry team, has delivered a prototype air inlet duct to US partner Northrop Grumman, the latter announced Tuesday. Officials from both companies said this is a significant accomplishment. They said it reflects the growing maturity of TAI’s manufacturing processes at its facility in Ankara so that the company may serve as a second source supplier of F-35 center fuselages. Northrop is the principal supplier of these sections to F-35 prime contractor Lockheed Martin and is helping TAI develop into the second source. “TAI has progressed steadily in learning the high-precision manufacturing processes required to produce [F-35] parts,” said Mark Tucker, Northrop’s F-35 program manager. TAI will produce inlet ducts for center fuselages that Northrop assembles and for the 400 TAI-built center sections. First deliveries of TAI-produced center fuselages are scheduled in 2013.