EL SEGUNDO, Calif., April 7, 2008 (PRIME NEWSWIRE) -- Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE:NOC) is adding momentum to its commitment to create international second source suppliers for F-35 Lightning II aircraft components by hosting composite manufacturing training for engineers and manufacturing specialists from Danish firm Terma and Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI).
The training for approximately two dozen Terma and TAI employees will be conducted in April and May at the company's Advanced Composites Center in El Segundo, Calif.
"This hands-on training is a critical step toward ensuring the successful implementation of high-quality, composite manufacturing processes by our international F-35 suppliers," said Mark Tucker, vice president and F-35 program manager for Northrop Grumman's Integrated Systems sector. "Creating an effective global supply chain is one of many ways we're helping ensure the successful production, delivery and sustainment of the world's most advanced multi-role combat aircraft."
According to Tucker, the wheels for creating this global supply chain were put in motion in 2006 when Northrop Grumman helped its F-35 customers -- Lockheed Martin and the F-35 Lightning II Joint Program Office -- secure commitments from eight countries to purchase approximately 25 percent of the more than 3,000 projected F-35 aircraft sales. In return, the F-35 partner countries were offered an opportunity to participate in a plan that would establish viable second sources for F-35 parts in their home countries.
Northrop Grumman awarded contracts to Terma and TAI in December 2007 to fabricate key subassemblies -- composite components and access doors -- needed to produce F-35 aircraft during the program's low rate initial production (LRIP) phase. Many of these components will be used in the aircraft's center fuselage, which Northrop Grumman is producing as a principal and founding member of the Lockheed Martin-led F-35 global industry team.
The upcoming training is part of Northrop Grumman's on-going support to Lockheed Martin to help transition the program successfully from its current system development and demonstration phase into the LRIP and full-rate production phases.
The F-35 Lightning II is a stealthy, supersonic multi-role fighter designed to replace a wide range of aging fighter and strike aircraft. It is being produced in three variants -- conventional take-off and landing (CTOL), short take-off/vertical landing (STOVL) and a carrier variant (CV) -- to meet the diverse performance needs of the U.S. Air Force, the U.S. Marine Corps, the U.S. Navy and allied defense forces worldwide. The three variants use a high degree of commonality to meet strict affordability requirements.
Northrop Grumman's roles on the F-35 team include producing the aircraft's center fuselage; key radar and electro-optical subsystems; and its communication, navigation and identification avionics. The company also provides mission systems and mission-planning software; and develops pilot and maintenance training systems.
Northrop Grumman Corporation is a $32 billion global defense and technology company whose 120,000 employees provide innovative systems, products, and solutions in information and services, electronics, aerospace and shipbuilding to government and commercial customers worldwide.
CONTACT: Brooks McKinney, APR Northrop Grumman Integrated Systems (310) 331-6610, office (310) 864-3785, mobile firstname.lastname@example.org