Business

April 3, 2012

Northrop Grumman delivers first F-35 center fuselage produced by integrated assembly line

Northrop Grumman photograph
Northrop Grumman employees prepare the first F-35 center fuselage produced by the Integrated Assembly Line for delivery to Lockheed Martin.

PALMDALE, Calif. – Northrop Grumman’s first F-35 center fuselage produced by its Integrated Assembly Line was delivered to Lockheed Martin March 16, 2012.

While the company has delivered 69 center fuselages since 2005, this is the first produced using the IAL. The IAL maximizes robotics and automation, providing additional capacity and assembly capability while meeting engineering tolerances that are not easily achieved using manual methods.

The IAL will be central in producing the F-35’s center fuselage as well as increasing the program’s affordability, quality and efficiency. The technologies deployed on the IAL have created more efficient and ergonomic process for assembly. The IAL was developed and designed with the help of the Detroit-based KUKA Robotics Aerospace Division, a commercial automation integrator, and was inspired by automation systems used by American automakers.

The IAL design uses a system-engineering approach to integrate tooling and structure transport, system automation, automated drilling cells and tooling mechanization coordinated across multiple build centers.

“The Integrated Assembly Line’s approach to tool design and fabrication marks a transition into a new way of business for Northrop Grumman,” said Michelle Scarpella, vice president of the F-35 program for Northrop Grumman. “Through the implementation of a much more efficient design-to-assembly process, the Integrated Assembly Line enables the team to simultaneously achieve higher quality, reduce costs and increase efficiency.”

Northrop Grumman photograph

Northrop Grumman employees prepare the first F-35 center fuselage produced by the Integrated Assembly Line for delivery to Lockheed Martin.

As a principal member of the Lockheed Martin-led F-35 industry team, Northrop Grumman performs a significant share of the work required to develop and produce the aircraft. In addition to producing the F-35 center fuselage, Northrop Grumman also designed and produces the aircraft’s radar and other key avionics including electro-optical and communications subsystems; develops mission systems and ission-planning software; leads the team’s development of pilot and maintenance training system courseware; and manages the team’s use, support and maintenance of low-observable technologies.

To date, the company has delivered every center fuselage on time and continues to meet its cost and schedule commitments. In 2011, the company delivered 22 center fuselages and it will make its 100th delivery in December 2012.

Northrop Grumman’s Palmdale, Calif., site is a world-class facility that provides assembly, integration, testing and long-term maintenance capabilities for the F-35, and some of the world’s most advanced aircraft, including B-2 Spirit and RQ-4 Global Hawk.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 

Airbus profit up on Dassault sale but orders down

European planemaker Airbus says it has seen its profit jump in the first quarter thanks to the sale of a stake in rival Dassault Aviation, though its plane orders and deliveries fell slightly. Airbus reported net profit of 792 million euros ($871 million) in the first quarter, compared with 439 million euros a year earlier....
 
 

Boeing delivers Cathay Pacific Airways’ 50th 777-300ER

Boeing and Cathay Pacific Airways celebrated April 30 the delivery of the airline’s 50th 777-300ER (Extended Range). With this delivery, Cathay Pacific will have 67 777s in operation, which also includes 12 777-300s and five 777-200s. Cathay Pacific is slated to receive three more 777-300ERs this year and is one of the launch customers for...
 
 
LM-new-site

New lab opens at Lockheed Martin’s Silicon Valley site

Lockheed Martin Space Systems executives Doug Graham and Marshall Case inaugurate a new missile defense technology laboratory at the company’s Silicon Valley facility. Lockheed Martin has opened a new state-of-the-art laborat...
 

 
boeing-B1

Boeing upgrades to keep B-1 soaring for decades to come

  The Boeing B-1B Lancer celebrates its soon to be 30th anniversary with the U.S. Air Force at Dyess Air Force Base,Texas, this week – marking one of many milestones in a legacy that will continue long into the future a...
 
 

Boeing, Air Tahiti Nui finalize order for two 787-9 Dreamliners

Boeing and Air Tahiti Nui have finalized an order for two 787-9 Dreamliners, valued at $514 million at current list prices. “The Dreamliner order heralds an exciting new era for international travel to and from the world’s most beautiful islands – Tahiti,” said Michel Monvoisin, Air Tahiti Nui’s Chairman and CEO. “The entire Air Tahiti Nui family...
 
 
LM-Sniper

Lockheed Martin delivers 1,000th Sniper® advanced targeting pod

Lockheed Martin marked the 1,000th Sniper Advanced Targeting Pod delivery during a ceremony held April 29 at its Missiles and Fire Control facility in Orlando, Fla. The 1,000th pod, which was delivered to the U.S. Air Force, is...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>