HERNDON, Va., Sept. 18 (UPI) -- Northrop Grumman has teamed with a commercial automation and assembly line integrator to design the assembly line for the U.S. Air Force Trainer X program.
The company is KUKA Systems Corp. North America, which worked with Northrop Grumman in creating Northrop's F-35 integrated assembly line in California. Northrop Grumman is the manufacturing partner on the BAE Systems Hawk Advanced Jet Training System team that is pursuing the T-X program.
"KUKA Systems is a world-class expert in assembly line design and automated systems as demonstrated by the F-35 Integrated Assembly Line, which has been recognized as a best in class aircraft assembly line," said Marc Lindsley, T-X capture lead, Northrop Grumman. "We are excited to work with their team to design an effective and efficient assembly line that will contribute to keeping production on cost and schedule.
KUKA is a discriminator in this pursuit that demonstrates Hawk AJTS team's value for T-X."
T-X is an Air Force program for new trainer aircraft. Northrop Grumman is the manufacturing partner on the BAE Systems Hawk Advanced Jet Training System team that is pursuing the T-X award.
"We are making significant progress regarding our T-X efforts and working closely with our Air Force customer," said Robert Wood, vice president and lead for BAE Systems Hawk Advanced Jet Training System. "Northrop Grumman's efforts toward manufacturing innovation add to our team's extremely strong position as an aerospace leader."
Northrop F-35 IAL, developed and designed with the help of KUKA, maximizes the use of robotics and automation, providing additional capacity and assembly capability. The facility produces the F-35's center fuselage.
"Performing well for Northrop Grumman and being asked to follow that success with a second major partnership is high praise for KUKA Systems and the automated manufacturing concepts we're helping pioneer," said Robert Reno, group vice president Aerospace Division of KUKA Systems. "Together, we and Northrop Grumman make a strong team with a strong case for winning the T-X program."