Spirit AeroSystems, a company that designs and builds composite and metallic aerostructures for commercial and defense customers, will expand operations to produce tooling, fabricate composite parts and machine complex metallic parts at its manufacturing campus in Wichita, Kansas.
Expansion was made possible when the Department of Defense allocated $80 million to Spirit to expand domestic production capability for advanced tooling, composite fabrication and metallic fabrication. According to company officials, these funds are part of the national response to COVID-19 in support of the Defense Industrial Base.
"We appreciate the confidence our customers have in Spirit's capabilities to serve a variety of critical defense needs," said Duane Hawkins, Senior Vice President; President, Defense and Fabrication, Spirit AeroSystems. "This funding for Spirit provides the Department of Defense additional production capacity for defense needs and helps maintain critical skills in the Defense Industrial Base."
With long-standing machining capabilities, Spirit said it crafts more than 3 million detailed parts annually for original equipment manufacturers at peak production. Its 5-axis center of excellence in Wichita focuses on large, complex, soft metal parts for fuselage, pylon and wing structures, all built on high-tech, high-speed, latest-generation equipment and is part of 12M sqft of manufacturing space.
"Our growing work on defense programs has provided a measure of stability for the company, and helped us as we shift capacity to serve other needs, particularly in the defense market," said Hawkins. "These funds under Title III will help retain employees with critical skills."
Spirit supports a number of military programs, including programs for the U.S. Air Force, the U.S. Navy, the U.S. Marine Corps and U.S. the Army.