|Technicians at Northrop Grumman's Palmdale (Calif.) Aircraft Integration Center of Excellence conduct final quality inspections on the center fuselage for AM-1. Photo: Northrop Grumman
[Avionics Today 12-10-14] Northrop Grumman recently completed the center fuselage for the first F-35 Lightning II aircraft to be ordered by Norway, a Conventional Takeoff and Landing (CTOL) variant designated AM-1. The AM-1 center fuselage is the first of 52 center fuselages that Northrop Grumman will produce for the Scandinavian nation.
Northrop Grumman produces the center fuselage for all three F-35 variants: CTOL, Short Takeoff Vertical Landing (STOVL) and the Carrier Variant (CV) for the Lockheed Martin-led F-35 industry team. Lockheed Martin Aeronautics will perform final assembly and checkout of the Norwegian F-35s in Fort Worth, Texas. The process includes mating the center fuselage to the forward fuselage/cockpit and wings produced by Lockheed Martin, and the aft fuselage and empennage produced by BAE Systems.
"Today's event marks another key delivery on the F-35 team's promise to produce a fifth-generation, multirole fighter that can meet the common air combat requirements of the U.S. and its allies," said Brian Chappel, vice president and F-35 program manager at Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems.