Northrop Grumman Corporation has marked the completion of the 500th shipset of the F/A-18 Super Hornet and the 300th center barrel of the F/A-18 Hornet.
At a celebration held this past month on the aircraft's assembly line at Northrop Grumman's El Segundo, California, facility, company officials joined representatives of The Boeing Company and the U.S. Navy in recognizing the two milestones and praising employees for maintaining high standards of quality, affordability and overall team performance.
As the program's principal subcontractor to prime contractor Boeing, Northrop Grumman is responsible for design and production of the shipset - the center/aft fuselage section, twin vertical tails and all associated subsystems - for the single-seat F/A-18E the two-seat F/A-18F Super Hornet, as well as for the EA-18G Growler electronic warfare aircraft. To date, the company has delivered 500 Super Hornet and Growler shipsets to Boeing's production center in St. Louis for mating with the forward fuselage section and final assembly.
Under a separate contract, Northrop Grumman has produced 300 replacement center barrels for the F/A-18A-D Hornet. The center barrel, a major section of the aircraft's fuselage, serves as the attachment point for the wings and main landing gear. This work has extended the service life of the original A-D models of the aircraft.
"Through the life of this program, deliveries of the Super Hornet have been 100 percent on schedule or ahead of schedule, and each year we've delivered more than 43,000 spares with nearly the same efficiency," said Michelle Scarpella, Vice President, F/A-18 Program, Northrop Grumman. "I'm proud of this team's dedication to program performance and customer satisfaction, and to designing and building a high-quality, affordable aircraft, year after year."
The F/A-18 program accounts for more than 1,200 jobs at Northrop Grumman's El Segundo Manufacturing Center and more than 10,000 jobs in California at more than 700 supplier companies. The Super Hornet industry team includes Boeing, Northrop Grumman, GE Aircraft Engines, the Raytheon Company and more than 1,900 suppliers in the United States and Canada.
To date, Northrop Grumman has delivered shipsets for 1,479 Hornets, 454 Super Hornets and 47 Growlers, for a total of 1,980 shipsets. The Hornet entered service in 1983, the Super Hornet in 2001 and the Growler in 2009.