Pratt & Whitney, a division of United Technologies Corp., has awarded long-term agreement contracts valued at $17 million over 10 years to four key Italian aerospace suppliers — Aerea S.p.A., APR S.r.l., Mepit S.r.l. and NCM S.p.A. — to manufacture F135 engine components for the fifth generation F-35 Lightning II fighter aircraft.
Pratt & Whitney has invested in a global manufacturing network and supply chain to ensure the success of the F135 engine program. In order to double the size of both commercial and military engine production by 2020, the company has signed long-term agreements valued at more than $22 billion dollars with nearly 800 key product suppliers worldwide. To date, F135 production requirements have resulted in more than $25 million dollars in contracts to Italian companies, and additional F135 engine work may increase for Italian industry as the production ramp grows in the coming years.
Aerea S.p.A, APR S.r.l., Mepit S.r.l. and NCM S.p.A. were selected on a best value basis to support the F135 engine program as a result of their readiness to deliver high-quality parts, on-cost and on-time, according to Cliff Stone, vice president business development, Pratt & Whitney Military Engines.
“Pratt & Whitney works hard to identify and team with capable suppliers who can deliver high-quality products at competitive prices. These awards directly support our goals for F135 industrial participation with small and medium enterprise suppliers,” said Stone. “We have had great success working with Italian industry. We recognize the advanced capabilities and value that exists with these particular suppliers and look forward to having them as part of Pratt & Whitney’s global supply chain for the F135 engine.”
“We are thrilled to be selected as a best value supplier for Pratt & Whitney’s advanced F135 engine,” said Silvano Mantovani, chief executive officer, Aerea S.p.A. “This long term supply agreement is a recognition of our technological know-how and the capabilities that exist in our state-of-the-art manufacturing facility.”
“This agreement signals strong confidence from Pratt & Whitney, and positions us well for additional F135 engine component manufacturing opportunities of increasing value,” said Andrea Romiti, chief executive officer, APR S.r.l. “We are prepared to deliver on our cost and product quality commitments, and we are ready for the F135 engine production ramp.”
“Our business is focused on delivering affordable, high-quality products,” said Luca Pigato, chief executive officer, Mepit S.r.l. “As a supplier of machined parts for the advanced F135 engine, we remain at the cutting edge of technology and providing important jobs for our talented workforce.”
“We are delighted to have Pratt & Whitney’s confidence to manufacture and deliver these key components for the F135 engine,” said Renato Cesca, chief executive officer, NCM S.p.A. “Our involvement with the F135 engine and the F-35 program helps ensure aerospace remains an essential part of our local industry.”
As one of the original nine partner nations for the F-35, Italy is a key contributor to the development and production of the F-35 Lightning II. The current program of record for Italy is for the procurement of 60 F-35A and 30 F-35B aircraft, confirming the aircraft as the official replacement for the legacy Panavia Tornado, AMX and AV-8B aircraft currently in use by the Italian Ministry of Defence.
The F-35 Lightning II program includes partners from Australia, Italy, Canada, Denmark, Netherlands, Norway, Turkey, United Kingdom, and United States — as well as three foreign military sales customers — Israel, Japan and South Korea. A total of 3,170 F-35s are currently planned for production. To date, Pratt & Whitney has delivered 266 F135 engines for the advanced, single-engine F-35 aircraft.