Germany’s Rheinmetall is to build a new factory to produce fuselages for the Lockheed Martin F-35 at a site in Weeze in the far west of the country.
Designed to build at least 400 centre fuselage sections, the structures manufactured by the facility will equip aircraft destined for the Luftwaffe and other nations.
Berlin in late 2022 signed off on the acquisition of 35 A-model fighters to replace the Luftwaffe’s fleet of aged Panavia Tornados for the nuclear deterrent mission.
Production is due commence at the 60,000sq m (645,000sq ft) Weeze factory in 2025, says Rheinmetall.
It is being stood up in collaboration with Lockheed and current fuselage supplier Northrop Grumman, which will replicate its “automated and manufacturing technologies” at the site.
Site selection comes on the back of a three-way agreement between the parties signed in February 2023.
The Weeze plant will be the second site producing centre fuselages globally.