Northrop Grumman Takes Delivery of First Production F-35 Air Inlet Duct From Key Turkish SupplierBy Northrop Grumman Corporation, PRNE
Monday, March 21, 2011
EL SEGUNDO, California, March 22, 2011 - Turkish Aerospace Industries, Inc. (TAI), a major international F-35
Lightning II supplier to Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE: NOC), has
delivered its first production air inlet duct for the jet.
A photo accompanying this release is available at
The delivery of the all-composite duct, a major structural element of the
F-35's center fuselage, will support Northrop Grumman's production of F-35
center fuselages for conventional takeoff and landing variants at its
aerospace production facility in Palmdale, Calif.
"This delivery reflects the growing maturity of TAI's composite
fiber-placed manufacturing processes, and the steady evolution of its role as
a second source supplier of center fuselages for the F-35 Joint Strike
Fighter (JSF) program," said Mark Tucker, vice president and F-35 program
manager for Northrop Grumman's Aerospace Systems sector.
Northrop Grumman is a principal subcontractor of the Lockheed Martin
(NYSE: LMT)-led F-35 industry team.
TAI produced the air inlet duct at its composites manufacturing facility
in Ankara, Turkey, as part of a five-year, $28.4 million contract awarded to
the company in September 2009 by Northrop Grumman.
"The delivery of this first production duct represents the successful
culmination of a training process for TAI that began in El Segundo
approximately two years ago," said David Dominguez, manufacturing engineering
lead for international production for Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems.
"Over the course of that instruction, TAI's engineers and manufacturing
specialists have grown from having limited knowledge of composites
manufacturing processes to now being able to produce large, complex, high
precision parts for one of the most advanced weapon systems in the world."
According to Dominguez, the TAI training included rigorous classroom and
hands-on work to teach its employees how to fabricate an F-35 inlet duct from
start to finish. The training was conducted at Northrop Grumman's Advanced
Composites Center in El Segundo.
TAI is a second source supplier of F-35 air inlet ducts and center
fuselages to Northrop Grumman. The company is slated to produce inlet ducts
to support both the current production of center fuselages on Northrop
Grumman's F-35 assembly line in Palmdale, Calif., and the 400 complete center
fuselages that it will produce in Turkey.
Deliveries of the TAI-produced center fuselages are scheduled to begin in
2013, as part the F-35 program's fifth phase of low rate initial production.
Northrop Grumman is responsible for designing and producing the center
fuselage for all three variants of the F-35. The company also designed and
produces the aircraft's radar and other key avionics including
electro-optical and communications subsystems; develops mission systems and
mission-planning software; leads the team's development of pilot and
maintenance training system courseware; and manages the team's use, support
and maintenance of low-observable technologies.
Northrop Grumman Corporation is a leading global security company whose
120,000 employees provide innovative systems, products, and solutions in
aerospace, electronics, information systems, shipbuilding and technical
services to government and commercial customers worldwide. Please visit
www.northropgrumman.com for more information.
Tom Henson of Northrop Grumman Corporation, +1-310-332-2904, cell, +1-310-625-8611, thomas.henson at ngc.com
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