The Lockheed Martin facility in Marietta delivered 500th F-35 Center Wing, marking a major milestone.
According to the F-35.com, the milestone Center Wing, or CW, will be incorporated into CF-55, an F-35C aircraft that will be delivered to the U.S. Navy at NAS Lemoore, California, in 2021.
The CW is a major structural component and represents approximately one quarter of the aircraft’s fuselage. The aircraft’s wings are attached to the CW during final assembly, which takes place at the Lockheed Martin facility in Fort Worth.
Nearly all of the aircraft’s F135 engine case is enclosed in the CW.
The Marietta team builds CWs for all three F-35 variants, the Conventional Takeoff and Landing (CTOL) F-35A, the Short Takeoff/Vertical Landing (STOVL) F-35B, and the Carrier Variant (CV) F-35C.
“What this team has accomplished since assembly began a decade ago and now reaching 500 Center Wings delivered is phenomenal,” said Caleb Hendrick, the Marietta F-35 program director. “The hallmarks of this team have been innovation, flexibility, spirit, and results – all aligned around the expectations of our customers. This team should be proud of the way it works together to support the Warfighters. I want to thank everyone for the job they have done and continue to do.”
Production has ramped up from five Center Wings delivered in 2011, to 21 in 2012 (the first full year of production), to 112 CWs in 2019. The Marietta team is currently scheduled to deliver more than 120 CWs in 2021.
Earlier this year, Pentagon’s No.1 weapons supplier Lockheed Martin Corp. also delivered the 500th F-35 Lightning II stealth multirole combat aircraft.
According to the company, the 500th F-35A fighter jet has been delivered to the Green Mountain Boys at the Vermont Air National Guard.