Rheinmetall begins construction of a production plant for F-35 fuselage

By Defence Industry Europe

On August 1, in Weeze, Germany, the groundbreaking ceremony was held for a new production plant for the central fuselage sections of the Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II multi-role combat aircraft.

The Rheinmetall plant, costing over EUR 100 million, will create over 400 jobs for qualified employees in the aviation sector and another 1,500 jobs at sub-suppliers. The production line aims to deliver the central sections of the F-35 Lightning II fuselages.





It will be the second line of this type in the world, and production is set to launch in the second half of 2025. As per declarations, it is expected to deliver at least 400 sections to be used in the final assembly of aircraft for various customers.



The decision to build the factory and the agreement between Rheinmetall, Lockheed Martin, and Northrop Grumman were made public by the German company on July 4 this year. It should not be forgotten that last year, the Federal Republic of Germany, through the FMS procedure, ordered 35 F-35A Lightning II aircraft for the Luftwaffe’s needs. In the competition for this order, Lockheed Martin beat Boeing, which offered the F/A-18F Super Hornet (and the E/A-18G Growler as an air defense breakthrough aircraft).



The current investment in Germany is not the only industrial success of European countries that buy F-35 Lightning II aircraft. Finnish Patria is also set to join the project as a supplier of hull (and engine) components, and in Switzerland’s case, it may locate the final assembly of at least some of the F-35A Lightning IIs ordered by that country. Additionally, the Czech Republic, planning to purchase a batch of machines of this type, requires offset agreements.



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