The US Department of Defense, in a strategic move to fortify the nation’s supply chain, has inked a $1.31m agreement with Selmet, Inc., a subsidiary of Consolidated Precision Products, to bolster the production of speciality titanium castings.
These castings are components for turbine engines powering the F-15, F-16, F-22, and F-35 aircraft, ensuring operational readiness for fighter aircraft. The initiative falls under the Defense Production Act (DPA) Title III authorities, fostering resilience within the defence industrial base and mitigating potential supply chain disruptions.
Dr Laura Taylor-Kale, Assistant Secretary of Defense for Industrial Base Policy, emphasised the significance of reinforcing upstream support activities alongside final product manufacturing. “Resiliency at all points in our defence industrial base is required to ensure the operational availability of the platforms on which our warfighters depend. Upstream supporting activities are just as important as the manufacturing of final products.”
Selmet, headquartered in Albany, Oregon, emerges as a strategic supplier of essential turbine engine components to Pratt & Whitney, a division of Raytheon Technologies. With its specialisation in providing F100, F135, and F119 turbine engine components, Selmet plays a role in maintaining the readiness and capabilities of Pratt & Whitney’s turbine engines, further enhancing the nation’s defence capabilities.
The funding, drawn from the Additional Ukraine Supplemental Appropriations Act, will allow Selmet to acquire and install specialised equipment necessary for the intricate manufacturing process of these complex titanium castings.
By investing in the capabilities of Selmet, the DoD is proactively addressing potential supply chain disruptions that could impact the production of turbine engines supporting some of the nation’s most critical fighter aircraft. This initiative aligns with the DoD’s overarching goal of fostering resilience within the defence industrial base.
According to GlobalData’s “US Defense Marker 2022-2027” report, the DoD has the advantage of the largest defence budget in the world. It has the funds to modernise and upgrade its fleet continually, and it also benefits from a diverse, skilled, and well-established defence industrial base.
This collaboration between the DoD and Selmet signifies a concerted effort to fortify the US defence supply chain, mitigate vulnerabilities, and bolster the production capacity of turbine engine components.
In April, the US DoD also strengthened its supply chains for hypersonic and strategic systems by awarding three awards to General Electric, Carbon-Carbon Advanced Technologies (C-CAT), and Northrop Grumman.