First F-35 Center Fuselage Delivered From New Assembly Line

Northrop Grumman delivered the first F-35 center fuselage produced on its new integrated assembly line to F-35 prime contractor Lockheed Martin, announced Northrop Grumman on Monday. Detroit-based KUKA Robotics Aerospace Division helped design the IAL, which is located at Northrop Grumman’s facility in Palmdale, Calif. The line uses robotics automation to increase affordability, quality, and efficiency, according to company officials. Although Northrop Grumman had previously supplied 69 center fuselages since 2005, the one delivered on March 12, was the first to come off of the IAL, they said. “The integrated assembly line’s approach to tool design and fabrication marks a transition into a new way of business for Northrop Grumman,” said Michelle Scarpella, company F-35 vice president.