Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI) will supply Northrop Grumman with the composite air inlet ducts for the centre fuselage of the F-35 joint strike fighter .

The F-35 is as a fifth generation stealth fighter aircraft being developed as a joint programme by nine nations including the US, the UK and Australia.

The inlet ducts supply will support Northrop’s production of centre fuselages during the fourth through eighth phases of low rate initial production of the fighter.

The five-year, $28.4m contract will also aid Northrop in making a smooth transition from its current rate of completing about one centre fuselage a month to an eventual rate of one centre fuselage a day.

The contract has been awarded to TAI as a second source supplier. To date all inlet ducts for F-35 aircraft were produced at Northrop’s Facility in El Segundo.