Aerospace and defence technology company Northrop Grumman has achieved a new delivery milestone in the F-35 Lightning II fighter jet programme.

The company marked the delivery of the 900th centre fuselage of the aircraft this week.

Northrop Grumman uses its integrated assembly line (IAL) to deliver F-35 centre fuselages for three unique aircraft variants.

In a statement, the company said: “The IAL is a world-class production facility using the latest in automation and robotics to deliver on large aircraft production efforts at scale.”

Northrop Grumman is associated as a principal partner of Lockheed Martin in the design, development, production and sustainment of F-35 Lightning II fighter jets for the US and other allied countries.

The F-35 is a stealthy, supersonic, multi-role fighter jet. It is available in three variants, namely F-35A, F-35B and F-35C.

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The F-35A is the conventional take-off and landing (CTOL) variant while the F-35B is the short take-off vertical landing (STOVL) variant.

The F-35C is the carrier variant (CV) of the fighter jet.

According to Northrop Grumman, around 600 F-35 aircraft are currently operating from 26 bases and aircraft carriers around the globe. The overall fleet has also surpassed more than 350,000 cumulative flight hours.

Under the F-35 programme, Northrop Grumman delivers the centre fuselage, the AN/APG-81 Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) fire-control radar, the AN/AAQ-37 Distributed Aperture System (DAS), AN/ASQ-242 Communications, Navigation and Identification (CNI) avionics suite among others.

Earlier this month, the Finnish Defence Forces Logistics Command signed $9.4bn worth of contracts for 64 F-35A aircraft and maintenance services.