Northrop makes 100th F-35 center fuselage

March 20, 2013 at 12:31 PM
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PALMDALE, Calif., March 20 (UPI) -- Northrop Grumman in California has celebrated the delivery of its 100th center fuselage for a U.S. Air Force F-35 Lightning II to Lockheed Martin.

The fuselage will be used on a conventional takeoff-and-landing F-35 variant that will be used for training.

"In 2011, we celebrated the delivery of the 50th center fuselage," said Michelle Scarpella, vice president of the F-35 program for Northrop Grumman. "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.

The IAL maximizes the use of robotics and automation in the production process and uses a system-engineering approach to integrate tooling and structure transport, system automation and automated drilling cells.

The company began work on the 100th fuselage in March of last year.

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