LONDON, May 9 (UPI) -- The 150th rear fuselage and tail set for Lockheed Martin's F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter has been produced by BAE Systems in Britain.
The set, designated AF070, is for a conventional takeoff and landing variant of an aircraft that will be operated by the U.S. Air Force.
BAE Systems said the set is being prepared to leave the factory in Samlesbury, Lancashire, for Fort Worth, Texas, where it will be joined to other aircraft components.
"AF070 is the 150th aircraft set to leave our production facility," said Jon Evans, head of Production Delivery, F-35, at Samlesbury. "The first 20 sets were development phase, the rest production aircraft. We are now producing aircraft sets at a rate of one every five days thanks to the multi-million pound investment we made in the Samlesbury site, so we're well on the way to producing one set a day by 2018.
"If we continue as we have done over the past 10 years, not only do we sustain jobs in the long term for our 1000+ workforce, but we help make a significant contribution to the UK economy through the work created in the 500 British-based companies involved in the program."
About 15 percent of each F-35 fighter is produced in Britain.
In addition to the rear fuselage and tail sets, BAE Systems in Britain also makes carrier wing tips for the Carrier variant and Nozzle Bay Doors for the Short Take Off and Vertical Landing Variant. BAE Systems in the United States is involved with the aircraft's electronic warfare capabilities, advanced apertures, advanced counter-measure systems, vehicle management and active inceptor systems.