Business

March 20, 2013

Northrop Grumman delivers 100th center fuselage for F-35 Lightning II

March 8, Northrop Grumman commemorated the delivery of its 100th F-35 Lightning II standard configuration center fuselage to Lockheed Martin during a ceremony at its Palmdale, Calif., manufacturing center. More than 300 guests attended the ceremony, including Northrop Grumman and Lockheed Martin leaders, F-35 suppliers, public officials and members of the business community.

PALMDALE, Calif. – Northrop Grumman marked the delivery of its 100 th F-35 Lightning II center fuselage to Lockheed Martin during a ceremony at its manufacturing center March 8.

“The F-35 team should be very proud of all its hard work in reaching this milestone,” said Michelle Scarpella, vice president of the F-35 program for Northrop Grumman. “All employees, suppliers and teammates focused on executing their work, always with an eye on quality and affordability. It’s the reason we’re able to stand here today and say that we’ve delivered on schedule and on budget, and that we’re operating as planned.”

Michelle Scarpella, vice president of the F-35 program for Northrop Grumman, spoke during the March 8 ceremony. “The F-35 team should be very proud of all its hard work in reaching this milestone,” said Scarpella. “All employees, suppliers and teammates focused on executing their work, always with an eye on quality and affordability. It’s the reason we’re able to stand here today and say that we’ve delivered on schedule and on budget, and that we’re operating as planned.”

This center fuselage will be integrated into the 100th aircraft, a conventional takeoff and landing variant of the F-35, and will be designated AF-41. The jet will be delivered to the U.S. Air Force and is slated for pilot training at Luke Air Force Base, Ariz.

Northrop Grumman began production on the AF-41 center fuselage in March 2012 and completed work on Feb. 26. It was shipped to Lockheed Martin on March 5. Northrop Grumman has been producing F-35 center fuselages since May 2004.

“In 2011, we celebrated the delivery of the 50th center fuselage,” said Scarpella. “It took us a little over seven years to reach that milestone. Now, about a year and a half later, we’re delivering our 100th. The speed at which we reached this milestone is a testament to the commitment of our team and the efficiencies of our Integrated Assembly Line.”

Tommy Tomlinson, sector vice president of global manufacturing and Palmdale site manager for Northrop Grumman’s Aerospace Systems, also spoke at the F-35 100th center fuselage event March 8, commenting on the integrated assembly line and increased line flow.

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 is central in producing the F-35’s center fuselage as well as increasing the program’s affordability, quality and efficiency. 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 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.

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 designed and produces the aircraft’s radar and other key avionics including electro-optical and communications subsystems; develops mission systems and mission-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. In 2012, the company delivered 32 center fuselages and is on track to exceed 2012 delivery quantities in 2013.

Northrop Grumman’s Palmdale 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 other most advanced aircraft, including the B-2 Spirit and RQ-4 Global Hawk.




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


 
 

 
Boeing photograph

Boeing Maritime Surveillance Aircraft ready for demonstration flights

Boeing photograph The Boeing Maritime Surveillance Aircraft program is ready for customer demonstration flights, having completed the baseline ground and flight testing of the aircraft mission systems. The Boeing Maritime Surve...
 
 

Pratt & Whitney concludes PurePowerÆ geared turbofan engine partnering

Pratt & Whitney and Kawasaki Heavy Industries Ltd. met recently to commemorate the signing of a risk and revenue-sharing collaboration agreement for KHI to provide key hardware modules for Pratt & Whitney’s PurePower Geared Turbofan engines. Pratt & Whitney is a division of United Technologies Corp. Pratt & Whitney currently has 10 worldwide GTF collaboration...
 
 

U.S. Navy approves F/A-18 Super Hornet IRST system for production

The F/A-18 Super Hornet infrared search and track system, developed and integrated by Boeing and Lockheed Martin, received approval from the U.S. Navy to enter low-rate initial production. The IRST system consists of Lockheed Martin’s IRST21 sensor, the GE Aviation FPU-13 Fuel Tank Assembly and the Meggitt Defense Industry Environmental Control unit. The system demonstrated...
 

 

DRS Technologies to upgrade electronic warfare E/A-18 mission for U.S., Australia

DRS Technologies Inc., a Finmeccanica Company,†announced Jan. 22 that it has been awarded access to an indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract for the production and delivery of up to 180 Joint Tactical Terminal-Receivers for U.S. Navy and Australian EA-18G aircraft. The contract is valued up to $12 million and will include JTT-R production engineering, test set racks, fixtures...
 
 

DRS Technologies’ groundbreaking laser designating gimbal completes first flight test

DRS Technologies Inc., a Finmeccanica Company, announced Jan. 21 that it successfully performed the first airborne demonstration of its GS205-XRZ laser designating gimbal. At less than six inches in diameter and weighing less than nine pounds, the GS205 is one of the smallest stabilized, light-weight and fully qualified targeting systems on the market. During its...
 
 
Lockheed Martin image

Lockheed Martin delivers first enhanced automated testing station for U.S. Navy aircraft fleet

Lockheed Martin image The electronic Consolidated Automated Support System (eCASS) maximizes aircraft readiness. Lockheed Martin has delivered the first electronic Consolidated Automated Support System to the U.S. Navy for maxi...
 




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>