Boeing has finalised an agreement with GKN Aerospace to integrate its St. Louis site under Boeing’s wing. 

The agreement helps secure the future of key aircraft programmes and ensures workforce job continuity.

The deal, completed in partnership with GKN Aerospace and its parent company, Melrose Industries, guarantees the continuation of essential parts manufacturing for the F/A-18 and F-15 programmes.

Boeing immediately assumes control of GKN’s St. Louis site, integrating its operations into its own. Moreover, the transition ensures job security for approximately 550 employees previously employed by GKN, who will now become part of Boeing’s workforce.

The US, which is still in the process of acquiring the F-35 Lightning II multirole fighter aircraft, has also considered procuring the F-15X multirole fighter aircraft in small volumes to supplement its fleet of F-35 aircraft and maintain fleet diversity, according to GlobalData’s “The Global Military Fixed Wing Aircraft Market 2023-2033” report. 

Steve Parker, senior vice president and chief operating officer of Boeing Defense, Space & Security, emphasised the broader impact of the agreement, stating, “This agreement allows us to not only deliver for our customers but also gives the highly skilled GKN workforce the opportunity to bring their immense talents to bear in support of the warfighter and the St. Louis defence and aerospace industry. This is a win-win-win for those employees, Boeing, and the broader Saint Louis community.”

While the financial specifics of the deal remain confidential, its implications are clear: Boeing’s acquisition ensures the continuity of aircraft programmes. 

Within the last year, the US Department of Defense (DoD) awarded Kay & Associates, an Illinois-based engineering solutions provider, a $153.3m contract modification to support and maintain Kuwaiti Air Force F/A-18C and D aircraft, enhancing their operational capabilities until January 2025.

Meanwhile, Boeing secured a $474.5m contract for Japan’s F-15 Japan Super Interceptor Programme, aiming to bolster the Japan Air Self-Defense Force’s air defence capabilities by integrating the Eagle Passive Warning Survivability System. Boeing’s proactive engagement in international markets also includes potential sales to Indonesia and Poland.