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Northrop Grumman has extended its use of Vistagy’s FiberSIM computer-aided-design (CAD) integrated software through the purchase of an additional $1.95 million of FiberSIM software and services. The purchase expands Northrop Grumman’s use of FiberSIM as a Tool of Choice for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program, the largest defence contract in U.S. history. Northrop Grumman’s Integrated Systems sector purchased FiberSIM for use by the F-35 Centre Fuselage Integrated Product Team, based in El Segundo, California.
Northrop Grumman, a principal member of the Lockheed Martin F-35 JSF team, is responsible for the F-35 centre fuselage section. The F-35 is a stealthy, supersonic, multirole fighter plane being developed for the U.S. Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps, as well as the U.K. Royal Air Force, Royal Navy and the militaries of numerous allied nations. It will replace a wide range of aging fighter and strike aircrafts. The centre fuselage of the F-35 makes use of composite materials because of their high strength-to-weight ratio. The Centre Fuselage Team is using FiberSIM software in design to optimize composite parts, analyze producibility, and automate manufacturing tasks.
The Centre Fuselage Team will include more than a hundred FiberSIM users in its multidisciplinary design and engineering program. They will use FiberSIM 4.1, integrated with the CATIA V5 CAD system, to design laminates, assess laminate characteristics, generate 3D engineering documentation, and verify the producibility of plies over complex contours. In addition, the manufacturing department will generate flat patterns, laser projection programs, and data for advanced fibre placement machines using the software. The resulting FiberSIM data will also be available to personnel in the material department and on the manufacturing floor. “Northrop Grumman considers our composite design, development, and manufacturing skills to be a core competency,”” says Randy Schaffer, Northrop Grumman F-35 centre fuselage structural design manager. “”We already utilize automated manufacturing of composite parts. FiberSIM supports our existing capabilities.””
“The F-35 Team’s use of FiberSIM helped win the world’s largest defence contract during the competition phase of the demonstration program,” says Steve Luby, president and CEO of VISTAGY. “The continued commitment to FiberSIM recognizes the robust capabilities that we have built into FiberSIM to make it the standard tool for composite design in aerospace.”
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