Northrop marks F-35 fuselage production

Aug. 19, 2011 at 7:34 AM

PALMDALE, Calif., Aug. 19 (UPI) -- Northrop Grumman workers in California have completed the 50th center fuselage for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program.

"Completing the 50th F-35 center fuselage is something to be proud of; it's a sign of a team that is committed to getting a very difficult job done, and done right," Mark Tucker, vice president and F-35 program manager for Northrop Grumman's Aerospace Systems sector said at a ceremony at the company's facility in California.

"I'm proud that we've reached such an important milestone but I'm even more proud of how we've done it. This team is always identifying ways to do an even better job of building the world's most sophisticated multi-role fighter. And, 50 ship sets in, it's working."

Northrop is responsible for the design and production of center fuselages for all three F-35 aircraft variants -- conventional takeoff and landing; short takeoff, vertical landing; and a carrier variant.

In addition to producing the F-35 center fuselage, Northrop designs and produces the aircraft's radar and other key avionics, including electro-optical and communications sub-systems; develops mission systems and mission-planning software; leads the team's development of pilot and maintenance training system course materials; and manages the use, support and maintenance of low-observable technologies.

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