Fancy building a part of the world’s fifth-generation, stealthy, multi-role fighter? Northrop Grumman is urgently looking for up to 400 engineers and technicians for its F-35 center fuselage assembly line in Palmdale, in California’s high desert. The company is busy ramping-up the production rate on fuselages as it pushes out the last of 19 units contracted under the system development and demonstration phase of the program. Although only 10 fuselages are due to be shipped to Lockheed Martin’s F-35 final assembly line this year, the rate is due to gradually step up with the build up of LRIP 1 and 2 aircraft. Ultimately the site expects to be pumping out F-35 fuselages at the rate of one per day. Tommy Tomlinson, vice president, production operations and Palmdale site manager, Northrop Grumman says “we have a lot to offer, and we really need them between now and the end of the year.”
This is what the new recruits will be building, the center section of the F-35. This happens to be the first F-35C fuselage for the US Navy and will fly in 2009 (pic credit. Northrop Grumman)
Some 2,200 are already employed at the site, but extra workers are needed to cope with the expansion as well as fill the void created by the annual attritional loss of more than 100 retirees.