Manufacturing training to build fuselages for F-35 Lightning II aircraft has been provided to Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI) by US firm Northrop.

Northrop conducted classroom and hands-on training for TAI engineers and manufacturing specialists on how to build the complex composite structures used in the F-35 Lightning II aircraft.

The company provided the TAI training as part of its on-going commitment to help expand international participation in the F-35 joint strike fighter (JSF) programme.

The training, which was third in a planned series, was mainly provided to the TAI team in charge of production of forward and aft inlet ducts for the jet.

The forward inlet duct will be integrated into one of the first major structural assemblies to be produced at TAI’s new F-35 assembly facilities in Ankara, Turkey, later this year.

Training included how to use the complex fibre-placement mandrels that define the shape of the ducts and how to operate the machines that perform the actual fibre-placement process.

The TAI team also received trained on how to prepare the ducts for curing, perform post-cure processing and machining, and conduct a final inspection of the completed parts.

As a second source supplier of F-35 centre fuselages to Northrop, TAI will produce 400 centre fuselages for the programme, initially in low-rate initial production phases.

Northrop Grumman is designing and producing the centre fuselage for all three variants of the F-35 aircraft.