Turkish President Abdullah Gül joined the grand opening of Kale Pratt & Whitney Aircraft Engine factory, established by a joint venture company of Turkey’s Kale Group and Pratt & Whitney in the Aegean Free Zone for production of parts for F-35 aircraft engines. This development may be called a quantum leap for the Turkish aviation industry.
A joint venture company by one of Turkey’s pioneering companies, Kale Group and a prominent aviation company, Pratt & Whitney, held a grand opening ceremony on June 6. The new Kale Pratt & Whitney factory in the Aegean Free Zone will manufacture parts for engine components for F-35 fighter aircrafts.
Turkish Gül, ministers, MPs, governors of Izmir and Çanakkale as well as Founder and Honorary President of Kale Group İbrahim Bodur, President and CEO of Kale Group Zeynep Bodur Okyay, Head of Kale Technical Department Osman Okyay, Pratt & Whitney Military Engines Group President Bennett M. Croswell, Pratt & Whitney Vice President Jill M. Albertelli and many guests attended the opening ceremony.
The factory located at the Aegean Free Zone has a first stage investment budget of 75 million USD. The facility is comprised of a closed area of 13,600 m2 and an open space of 101,000 m2. The company intends to employ 700 people by the end of the initial 5-year period.
The F-35 is regarded as the most expensive defense program ever and is referred to as the world’s fifth generation aircraft.
The factory at the Aegean Free Zone will reportedly produce critical parts for the advanced F135 engines for F-35 fighters.
About Kale Pratt & Whitney Aircraft Engines Industry
• Groundbreaking : May 7, 2011
• Investment : 75 million USD
• Partnership stakes : 51% Kale Group, 49% Pratt & Whitney
• Type of production : Engine components primarily for F-35 fighters and other aircrafts
• Employment : 123 (15 with Master’s, 38 with Bachelor’s degrees)
• Target for employment : 700
• Place of production : Aegean Free Zone / Izmir
• Closed space : 13 thousand 600 m2
• Kale Pratt Whitney’s facility at the Aegean Free Zone is the only one constructed with state-of-the-art technology and the “one-stop-shop” principle. One-stop-shop refers to facilities incorporating all of the required processes and investments from processing and inspection to forming and coating. This type of variability in manufacturing also brings advantages of designation in new projects.
• The factory enjoys the most advanced technologies and counters, some of which are either not found or rarely found in Turkey and even in Europe. Some of these technologies are Electron Beam Welding, Titanium Hot Forming Counter and Plasma Coating Counter.
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