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.