Northrop Grumman Completes Center Fuselage for First Norwegian F-35 Aircraft

Technicians at Northrop Grumman's Palmdale (Calif.) Aircraft Integration Center of Excellence conduct final quality inspections on the center fuselage for AM-1, the first F-35 joint strike fighter produced for Norway. The unit, completed Dec. 9, will be mated with major structural components of the aircraft by F-35 prime contractor Lockheed Martin.

PALMDALE, Calif. – Northrop Grumman Corporation ( has completed – on budget and on schedule – the center fuselage for the first F-35 Lightning II aircraft to be ordered by Norway, a conventional takeoff and landing (CTOL) variant designated AM-1.

The company celebrated the production milestone with a brief ceremony Dec. 4 at its Palmdale Aircraft Integration Center of Excellence, the site of its F-35 Integrated Assembly Line (IAL). Royal Norwegian Air Force Col. Odd-Steiner Haugen, the Norwegian national deputy in the F-35 joint program office, attended the ceremony on behalf of the Norwegian government.

“Today’s event marks another key delivery on the F-35 team’s promise to produce a fifth-generation, multirole fighter that can meet the common air combat requirements of the U.S. and its allies,” said Brian Chappel, vice president and F-35 program manager, Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems. “Using our Integrated Assembly Line, we’re continuing to reduce the time and cost required to produce an F-35 center fuselage. Our success is helping the industry team meet the operational need dates of our international partners.”

The center fuselage is the core structure around which every F-35 joint strike fighter aircraft is built. As a principal member of the Lockheed Martin-led F-35 industry team, Northrop Grumman designed and produces the center fuselage for all three F-35 variants: CTOL, short takeoff vertical landing (STOVL) and the carrier variant (CV).

The AM-1 center fuselage is the first of 52 center fuselages that Northrop Grumman will produce for Norway. It is the 166th center fuselage that the company has produced at its Palmdale site, and the 34thsuch unit delivered to Lockheed Martin this year.

Lockheed Martin Aeronautics will perform final assembly and checkout of the Norwegian F-35s in Fort Worth, Texas. The process includes mating the center fuselage to the forward fuselage/cockpit and wings produced by Lockheed Martin, and the aft fuselage and empennage produced by BAE Systems.

The IAL is a highly automated set of work cells developed to assemble – efficiently, affordably and with high precision – the center fuselage for all three variants of the F-35 joint strike fighter. It occupies more than 200,000 square feet of factory floor space and includes more than 700 tools required to operate 78 positions.

Northrop Grumman plays a key role in the development and production of the F-35 weapons system. In addition to producing the jet’s center fuselage, the company produces key F-35 radar, electro-optical, avionics and communications subsystems. It also develops mission systems and mission-planning software; develops and maintains pilot and maintainer training systems courseware; and manages the team’s use, support and maintenance of low-observable technologies.

Additional photo:

Royal Norwegian Air Force Col. Odd-Steiner Haugen, the Norwegian national deputy in the F-35 joint program office, signs the AM-1 center fuselage as part of the ceremonial delivery ceremony hosted Dec. 4 by Northrop Grumman.

Advertisements
This entry was posted in AV BOARD OF TRADE, ClancyJG International, Northrop Grumman and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s