Advanced Composite Structures

large clean room with many structures on assembly line.

Focused on performance, reduced cost and lead time, our advanced manufacturing processes produce the highest quality and best value of aerostructures within the industry.

Advancing Aerostructures

From wing products to fuselage parts to engine and rocket components, our advanced composite materials are making strides in reducing weight, improving performance and lowering the lifecycle cost of aircraft and launch vehicles.

Our team of experts provide internal and external partners with innovative solutions that solve wicked challenges for critical technologies – as we define what’s possible for the future of composites and within aerospace.

We've executed and delivered for defense, launch and commercial programs, including Airbus A350, Boeing 787, Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II, Northrop Grumman B-2 Spirit, Atlas V, Delta IV and Antares, among many others.

Learn more about Northrop Grumman's work in manufacturing survivable composite structures for aircraft and launch vehicles, using advanced manufacturing processes.

automation manufacturing


Northrop Grumman pioneers automation. We've invented advanced industry-leading technologies, enabling high-rate production of complex parts and incredibly precise inspection. In result, we increase output, reduce labor hours and improve quality – which reduces cost for our customers.

Our automated manufacturing technology includes fiber placement machines, tape-laying machines, stiffener forming machines, case forming machines, high-speed waterjets, and non-destructive inspection and testing. 

Northrop Grumman supporting the future of aeronautics – now. We are engaged in research and development that will boost high-rate production for the next-generations of programs.

female engineer working on component


As experts in composite technology, Northrop Grumman’s aerostructures provides superior durability, ensuring safety and longevity, even in the most extreme conditions.

These structures, built with remarkable precision and quality, can be primed to integrate and protect weapon systems, such as the weapons bay doors for the F-35 Lightning II. Other structural applications include airframes, wing tips, radomes, panels, antennas, control surfaces and more.

To ensure structures are survivable against the harsh environments of air and space, we produce protection materials, which protect against lightning, rain and dust erosion, impact, radiation, electromagnetic pulses and more.

large aerospace structures

Large Structures

Northrop Grumman crafts, cures and tests some of the largest structures in the aerospace industry.

Among our advanced technology is a first-of-its-kind automation machine that efficiently pairs automated fiber placement and automated tape laying to create unique, complex structures, as well as autoclave infrastructure spanning over 80 feet in length.

We’ve supplied more than 1,000 large composite structures for Ariane V, Antares, Pegasus, Atlas V, Delta II and Delta IV. With automated machinery designed to support large structures, such as launch vehicles, our facilities have the resources and infrastructure to support the next generation of programs in air and space.

design and analysis center

Design and Analysis

We’re prepared to support our partners – from prototype to testing. Our skilled integrated product development teams have a reputation for building optimized manufacturing processes, which contribute to first-time quality, reduction in development time, and cost-competitive solutions.

We leverage our deep expertise in design and analysis in complex geometries, environments and systems, which we’ve demonstrated for next-generation structures. We also use analytical process stimulations to enable faster build times. We can then certify product integrity through structural and fatigue testing on structures that range in size, which includes advanced data monitoring and recording, to support program success.

Aerospace Structures Media Contact

Nina Morse
(801) 388-6398