Thu, May 13, 2010
Company Continues Its Expansion Into Commercial Specialties
Precision-machined tungsten heavy alloy weights, which perform
a critical function in establishing aeromechanical stability of a
helicopter's rotor blades, will be supplied by Aerojet for the new
Composite Main Rotor Blade (CMRB) developed by Boeing for the
AH-64D Apache Block III (AB3) program.
The company announced Monday that under the initial contract, it
will deliver completed rotor weights to support Boeing's production
of the U.S. Army's low rate initial production requirements for AB3
(approximately 43 aircraft) in 2010. Completed deliveries are
anticipated by 2012. In an effort to enhance battle support
effectiveness and reduce operational and support costs, the Army
intends to procure or upgrade more than 600 aircraft by 2025.
Several hundred more Apaches are also candidates for the upgrade
and there are current plans for more than 100 additional new build
airframes in the near future.
"The CMRB is a vitally important piece of the overall
capability that Block III Apache will bring to the warfighter,"
said Colonel Shane Openshaw, project manager, Apache Attack
Helicopter. "Simply put, CMRB improves aircraft performance,
improves overall aircraft readiness, reduces life-cycle costs and
reduces pilot workload."
"(T)his award demonstrates the significant
value Aerojet is delivering through its expansion into commercial
specialty metals markets," said Dick Bregard, Aerojet's Vice
President of Defense Systems.
Aerojet says it was able to offer these components at
significant cost savings over conventionally processed materials.
Through Aerojet's efforts, Boeing has also specified the material
to a more rigorous industry standard, ensuring a higher level of
quality and performance. These improvements are made possible by
the incorporation of Aerojet's proprietary near-net shape
technology, which is derived from the company's high-performance
ordnance manufacturing process. This cost-effective technology was
originally developed to manufacture kinetic energy penetrators for
M1 tanks, M2 Bradley Fighting Vehicles, Phalanx CIWS and infantry
in the field. All work will be performed at Aerojet's Specialty
Metals facility in Jonesborough, TN, and will be completed by Dec.
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