Northrop ramps up production of F-35 fuselage

June 29 (Reuters) - Northrop Grumman Corp said on Friday it would now produce a center fuselage for Lockheed Martin Corp's F-35 Lightning II aircraft every 1-1/2 days as it ramps up production of the component.

"This pace of military aircraft production has not been seen in decades," said - p r o d u c t i o n - o f - f - 3 5 - l i g h t n i n g - i i - c e n t e r - f u s e l a g e Kevin Mickey, sector vice president and general manager, military aircraft systems at Northrop Grumman.

The center fuselage for F-35 jets forms a significant portion of the aircraft's internal weapons bay and fuel capacity.

Northrop, which also produces wing skins for the aircraft, has been benefiting from higher sales of F-35s. It is also a contractor for the B-21 bomber and makes the Global Hawk unmanned aerial vehicle. (Reporting by Arunima Banerjee in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D'Silva)