Dmitry Skutin | Dreamstime
Turbine engine profiles.

Pratt & Whitney Expanding Jet Engine Complex

June 20, 2023
The Columbus, Ga., MRO center for commercial and military engines is in line for a $206-million machinery update and capacity expansion.

Pratt & Whitney initiated a $206-million capital investment program for new machinery and equipment at its Columbus, Ga., commercial and military jet engine complex, and to expand its manufacturing capabilities there. One goal of the investment is to expand the Columbus Engine Center’s overhaul capacity to 400 GTF engines per year.

The overall effort is expected to result in about 400 new jobs by 2028.

The Columbus Engine Center is a Maintenance, Repair & Overhaul (MRO) facility for Pratt & Whitney’s GTF geared turbofan commercial-jet engine, and for F117 and F100 military jet engines. The CEC operations perform disassembly, inspection, assembly, and testing for those engines.

The GTF engines are widely installed in various narrow-body commercial aircraft, including the Embraer E-Jets E2 and Airbus A220 and A320neo series jets.

The GTF program has been under strain for several months due to parts shortage and some defective or inappropriately installed parts, leading to supply-chain problems with Pratt & Whitney and the commercial carriers operating those engines. Parent company Raytheon Technologies (now relabeled as RTX) plans to absorb a $500-million charge to its free-cash flow during Q2 2023, due to the GTF engine problem. RTX chief operating officer Chris Calio announced the charge and described the problem, without identifying the engine part or its supplier.

Adjacent to the Columbus Engine Center is Pratt & Whitney’s Columbus Forge, where it manufactures compressor airfoils and nickel and titanium forgings that are machined into rotating components for GTF engines, as well as F135 engines for the F-35 Lightning II fighter jet.

“We remain committed to supporting manufacturing jobs in Georgia and see an incredible opportunity to expand our workforce and our company's capabilities in Columbus, aligned with our Industry 4.0 strategy,” according to Pratt & Whitney president Shane Eddy. “This investment will help ensure that we have the infrastructure, machinery and equipment upgrades in place to provide the best products and services to our customers worldwide."

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