The F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) programme has achieved a key milestone with BAE Systems completing a production readiness review (PRR) for manufacturing critical airframe components for the supersonic jet.

BAE Systems Land and Integrated Systems Director Kim Scott said achieving the key milestone of PRR means they are a step closer towards full rate production, which would involve further production readiness assessments.

“At full rate production we will be delivering 70 aircraft sets per annum, with over 30 parts in each set.”

BAE has already delivered more than 370 vertical tail parts, comprising 13 aircraft ship sets, from its Edinburgh Parks site, according to Scott.

BAE, which has teamed with Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman for the most advanced combat aircraft, will report the outcomes of the PRR to the US Department of Defense 2012 Defense Acquisition Board Review.

The F-35 is being developed for the US Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps to replace the A-10, the AV-8B Harrier, F-26 and the F/A-18 Hornet, and for the UK’s Royal Air Force and Royal Navy, to replace the Harrier and Sea Harrier.