June 22, 2006 -- The U.S. House of Representatives has approved $1.3 million in funding to support Alcoa Inc. in its production of titanium structural castings at the Howmet Products and Services division, in Whitehall, MI.
According to U.S. Rep. Peter Hoekstra, "The modern global threat map demands a more agile military than at any other time in its history. Alcoa's effort to integrate such an effective metal into the equipment of the Armed Forces improves its ability to effectively respond to the threats wherever in the world that they arise."
The Department of Defense Appropriations Act of Fiscal Year 2007 (H.R. 5631), approved by the House earlier this week, authorizes the funds to support the research, development, demonstration, and integration of Alcoa's Advanced Aerospace Titanium Structures. Alcoa's Collaborative Development Approach process will be applied to titanium-intensive structures and components of some critical defense programs, including the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, the F/A-22, and the V-22. The company expects to achieve considerable cost savings in the production process by consolidating parts, moving to more monolithic structures, and applying innovative investment casting processes.
According to Michael A. Pepper, v.p. and general manager of Howmet Products and Services, "With equivalent strength and 50% lighter than steel, titanium is the ideal metal for U.S. aerospace defense needs. Howmet has demonstrated the ability to reduce cost and increase the speed of manufacturing its advanced titanium structures through cutting-edge innovation and technology."