Toronto-based Magellan Aerospace Corp. has commissioned an expansion at its high-velocity hard metal machining center to support its manufacturing role in the F-35 II manufacturing program. The center is at Magellan’s Chicopee Manufacturing operation in Kitchener, Ont., a plant that has been involved in the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program since 2003.
"We value this high-technology work", stated Daniel Zanatta, vice president-North American Operations. "From the outset, Magellan recognized that the Joint Strike Fighter program was a good strategic fit with our core products and further recognized the opportunity in this program to grow our core technology and our people to the next level of advanced manufacturing.”
The F-35 Lightning II is a family of stealth fighter jets produced by a consortium of manufacturers headed by Lockheed Martin Corp., in a long-term program supported by the U.S. and U.K. defense agencies and supported by manufacturer in multiple nations — earning it thee Joint Strike Fighter designation.
Magellan designs and manufactures aero engine and aero structure assemblies and components. It was the first international partner in the JSF program to deliver components that had been manufactured outside the U.S. — prior to which it made significant investments in equipment and technology to establish a role in the JSF program.
The company did not indicate the cost of the new capital program, nor detail its capabilities, but it said the operation would reach full capacity in 2016.
Canada’s Strategic Aerospace and Defence Initiative (SADI) is supporting Magellan’s expansion.
The updated machining center will support F-35 business that Magellan values at up to C$212 million ($208 million), for various customers over 15 years. At present the company indicates it has firm, multi-year contracts worth approximately C$26 million ($25.5 million), with potential to increase the scope of these projects as the machining center ramps up to full-scale production.
“The advanced high-velocity, hard metal machining that will be done for the F35s here in Kitchener will reinforce Magellan's place in the global aerospace industry,” Zanatta continued. “We are proud to be working on this program and look forward to future opportunities that the F-35 II program will present over the next 40 years."