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Boeing Buys Defense Plant from GKN

April 30, 2024
A St. Louis-area aerospace components plant and its several hundred workers will transfer from GKN Aerospace to the Boeing portfolio, avoiding closure and litigation.

Boeing agreed to buy a St. Louis-area plant that supplies critical components for its F/A-18 and F-15 programs from GKN Aerospace. The terms of the purchase were not revealed, but it will end pending litigation by Boeing versus the British manufacturing group, and restores the plant to Boeing after it sold the “St. Louis Fabrication Operations” to GKN in 2001.

The Hazelwood, Mo., plant’s 550 workers are now Boeing employees under the agreement.

Reportedly, the seller was set to close the plant later this year due its lack of profitability. GKN is a holding of Melrose Industries. Its aerospace unit produces aerostructures, electric wiring interconnect systems, aerospace engine parts, and propulsion systems. It had announced plans to close the plant in 2022, prompting Boeing to sue GKN on the premise that the plant was critical to Boeing Defense’s F/A-18 and F-15 programs.

The F/A-18 is a twin-engine, multi-role fighter jet and the F-15 is a twin-engine tactical fighter, and both are programs that Boeing Defense incorporated through the 1997 merger with McDonnell Douglas Corp. Each one represents a significant component of the defense capabilities for the U.S. Air Force, U.S. Marine Corps, U.S. Navy, and the defense forces of several allied nations.

“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 defense and aerospace industry,” stated Steve Parker, senior vice president and chief operating officer of Boeing Defense, Space & Security.

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