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.


 
 

 

Boeing announces SF Airlines order for Boeing converted freighters

Boeing announced Oct. 23 that SF Airlines has placed an order for an undisclosed number of 767-300ER passenger-to-freighter conversions (Boeing Converted Freighters). SF Airlines, a subsidiary of Shenzhen, China-based delivery services company SF Express, will accept its first redelivered 767 in the second half of 2015. “SF Express aims to become China’s most respected and...
 
 
LM-C130

Another Super Herc Little Rock Rollin’

  Lockheed Martin delivered another C-130J Super Hercules to the 61st Airlift Squadron at Little Rock Air Force Base, Ark., Oct. 23. Little Rock AFB’s new C-130J was ferried from the Lockheed Martin Aeronautics facility ...
 
 

United Technologies beats third quarter profit expectations

United Technologies Corp. Oct. 23 reported third-quarter profit of $1.85 billion as sales increased across all its businesses and the aerospace giant reported favorable tax settlements. The Hartford, Conn.,-based company said it had profit of $2.04 per share and earnings, adjusted for non-recurring gains, came to $1.82 per share. The results topped Wall Street expectations,...
 

 

Raytheon SM-6s intercept targets in ‘engage on remote’ tests

During the U.S. Navy’s Combat Ship System Qualification Trials, the USS Chancellorsville (CG 62) tested two Raytheon Standard Missile-6 interceptors against anti-ship and cruise missile targets. As part of ‘engage on remote’ scenarios, the ship launched the SM-6 interceptors prior to its own radars ‘seeing’ the incoming threats, using targeting information from ano...
 
 

General Dynamics receives $19 million contract for submarine planning services

The U.S. Navy has awarded General Dynamics Electric Boat an $18.9 million contract modification to perform reactor-plant planning yard services for nuclear submarines and support-yard services for moored training ships. Electric Boat is a wholly owned subsidiary of General Dynamics. Initially awarded in November 2011, the contract has a potential value of $121.2 million through...
 
 

Passenger jets push Boeing’s profit up 18 percent

Robust demand for commercial jets and an increased pace of production helped Boeing earn $1.36 billion in the third quarter, up 18 percent from the same period last year. On a per-share basis, the Chicago-based company said it had a profit of $1.86. Adjusted for non-operating costs, earnings came to $2.14 per share, better than...
 




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>