Lightning II jet, marking the transition from demonstration to production of the Joint Strike Fighter, the defense giant announced.

Assembly work on the aircraft's center fuselage began March 24 at Northrop's Palmdale Manufacturing Center, with the loading of an all-composite air inlet duct into a special tooling structure called a jig.

The assembly of the center fuselage "is significant because it shows the F-35 program is successfully transitioning from the system development and demonstration phase into the production phase," Janis Pamiljans, Northrop's F-35 program manager, said in a statement.

For the full story visit http://www.dailynews.com/ci_8774367