Business

June 6, 2014

Northrop Grumman delivers 150th center fuselage for F-35 Lightning II

A Northrop Grumman technician puts finishing touches on center fuselage AF-68 prior to delivery to F-35 prime contractor Lockheed Martin.

 
PALMDALE, Calif. – Northrop Grumman has marked another significant production milestone for the F-35 Lightning II program by delivering its 150 th center fuselage to F-35 prime contractor Lockheed Martin. The center fuselage is the core structure around which the aircraft is built.

Designated AF-68, the center fuselage was delivered June 2. It is the 50 th such unit Northrop Grumman has delivered in the last 15 months. The company’s first 100 center fuselages took approximately eight and half years from program start to complete.

“The delivery of AF-68 represents Northrop Grumman’s steady progress reducing the production time for the F-35 center fuselage,” said Brian Chappel, vice president and F-35 program manager, Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems. “It also maintains the company’s perfect record of on-time deliveries of center fuselages from our Palmdale manufacturing center to Lockheed Martin.”

AF-68 will be integrated into a conventional takeoff and landing variant at Lockheed Martin’s F-35 final assembly facility in Fort Worth, Texas. The jet will be delivered to the U.S. Air Force.

Chappel attributes Northrop Grumman’s steady increase in center fuselage production rates to the company’s Integrated Assembly Line (IAL), which was opened in Palmdale in March 2011 to improve quality, reduce costs and shorten F-35 center fuselage assembly times.

“We’re working closely with our customers, our suppliers and our employees to identify small changes in our assembly practices that will increase F-35 affordability while maintaining excellent quality,” said Chappel. “Every minute, every dollar we save on the IAL helps reduce F-35 costs while speeding the jet’s availability to the warfighter.”

Northrop Grumman employees install protective coverings over center fuselage AF-68 prior to its shipment to F-35 prime contractor Lockheed Martin.

The Northrop Grumman-developed IAL makes heavy use of robotics and automation. It allows the company to produce F-35 center fuselages with levels of engineering precision, quality and manufacturing efficiency that are not achievable using conventional manual production methods.

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 all three variants of the jet. In addition to producing the F-35 center fuselage, the company 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.




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


 
 

 

Headlines November 26, 2014

News: When Hagel leaves, new SecDef faces big questions about the military’s future - President Obama’s new pick to run the Pentagon will face a dizzying set of challenges affecting the Defense Department’s mission, budget and culture. Who will be the next Secretary of Defense?- Following the Nov. 24 surprise announcement from the White House, the...
 
 

News Briefs November 26, 2014

Navy to decommission two more ships in Puget Sound The Navy recently decommissioned the guided missile frigate USS Ingraham at Everett, Wash. It will be towed to Bremerton and scrapped. The Daily Herald reports the Navy also plans to decommission another ship at the Everett homeport and also one stationed in Bremerton. Naval Station Everett...
 
 

NASA airborne campaigns tackle climate questions from Africa to Arctic

NASA photograph The DC-8 airborne laboratory is one of several NASA aircraft that will fly in support of five new investigations into how different aspects of the interconnected Earth system influence climate change. NASA photograph The DC-8 airborne laboratory is one of several NASA aircraft that will fly in support of five new investigations into...
 

 
Air Force photograph by Rick Goodfriend

16T Pitch Boom reactivated to support wind tunnel tests

Air Force photograph by Rick Goodfriend The Pitch Boom at the AEDC 16-foot transonic wind tunnel (16T) was recently reactivated. This model support system is used in conjunction with a roll mechanism to provide a combined pitch...
 
 

Northrop Grumman supports U.S. Air Force Minuteman missile test launch

Northrop Grumman recently supported the successful flight testing of the U.S. Air Force’s Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile weapon system. The operational flight test was conducted as part of the Air Force Global Strike Command’s Force Development Evaluation Program. This program demonstrates and supports assessment of the accuracy, availability and reliability of the...
 
 
army-detector

Scientists turn handheld JCAD into a dual-use chemical, explosives detector

Scientists at the U.S. Army Edgewood Chemical Biological Center at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md., proved it is possible to teach an old dog new tricks by adding the ability to detect explosive materials to the Joint Chemical Age...
 




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>