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.


 
 

 

Pratt & Whitney, U.S. Air Force complete qualification for F135 engine testing

Pratt & Whitney, a United Technologies Corp. , together with its U.S. Air Force partner at the F135 Heavy Maintenance Center at Tinker Air Force Base, Okla., celebrated another significant milestone qualification for F135 engine testing at the Oklahoma City Air Logistics Complex. OC-ALC which in addition to engine testing is also qualified to perform...
 
 

Raytheon begins building critical components for AN/TPY-2 ballistic missile defense radar

The Missile Defense Agency will soon have greater agility and capability in its fleet of AN/TPY-2 ballistic missile defense radars. Raytheon has begun construction of two major sub-components of the AN/TPY-2 under a $53 million contract announced by the Department of Defense on Sept 2. The units Raytheon is building will enable the MDA to...
 
 

Honeywell, Thales to offer next-gen high-speed in-flight connectivity to A350XWB

Honeywell Aerospace and Thales will work together to integrate Honeywell JetWave hardware with Thales cabin network solutions for Airbus A350XWB and other commercial aircraft. The combined offering will give commercial airline operators and their passengers the same connectivity experience in-flight as they would have at home or work ó enabling real-time TV channel viewing, live...
 

 

U.S. Navy awards General Dynamics $16 million for F/A-18 mission computers

General Dynamics Advanced Information Systems, a business unit of General Dynamics, has been awarded a $16.2 million contract by the U.S. Navy to produce Type-3 Advanced Mission Computers for the F/A-18 E/A-18G Super Hornet aircraft. Since 2002 General Dynamics has produced, tested and delivered the F/A-18 AMC, which serves as the nerve center of the...
 
 

Boeing, DLA partnership will improve war fighter logistics support

Boeing has received a $293 million performance-based contract from the Defense Logistics Agency to provide aircraft parts and support that will enable DLA to provide essential logistics support to warfighters more quickly and effectively. Boeing proposed a holistic partnership and transformational approach that fundamentally changes the way DLA and Boeing do business,î said Julie Praiss,...
 
 
NG-people

Northrop Grumman appoints vice president

Northrop Grumman has announced the appointment of Tarik Reyes as vice president, business development for its integrated air and missile defense division in its Information Systems sector, effective immediately. In this new rol...
 




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>