Kale Pratt & Whitney Aircraft Engine Factory Opened by President Gül
President Abdullah Gül joins Kale Group and Pratt & Whitney for the grand opening of new Izmir manufacturing facility to build F135 engine components for the F-35 Lightning II
Kale Group and Pratt & Whitney celebrated the opening of a new factory today in the Izmir Aegean Free Zone, which will specialize in manufacturing hardware for the F135 engine powering the F-35 Lightning II fighter aircraft. Kale Pratt & Whitney is a joint venture between Turkey-based Kale Group, and U.S.-based Pratt & Whitney, a division of United Technologies Corporation (NYSE: UTX).
Abdullah Gül, president of the Republic of Turkey, attended the facility's groundbreaking in May 2011 and was joined by other government officials today to congratulate Kale and Pratt & Whitney for the grand opening of the new facility, which will be critical to Turkey's ongoing involvement in the F-35 program.
Kale Group has operated in the defense and aviation industry since 1989 and became a key part of the F-35 program in 2005 when Kale Aviation Company began producing more than 200 critical body and wing components for the 5th generation F-35 fighter aircraft. The joint venture established in 2010 with Pratt & Whitney marks another significant milestone for Kale Group's involvement in the program.
Kale Group, which owns 51 percent stake in the new joint venture, and Pratt & Whitney, which owns 49 percent, invested 75 million USD into the new 13,600-square-meter (146,389-square-feet) facility. The facility will use state-of-the-art technologies critical to the production of the F135 engine. Kale Pratt & Whitney anticipates the facility will employ several hundred employees as production for the F-35 program expands.
"Expanding our capabilities with this new facility enhances Turkey's involvement in the F-35 program, and in the overall industry," said İbrahim Bodur, honorary president of Kale Group. "By investing in advanced technologies and building partnerships like this one with Pratt & Whitney, we are strengthening the aviation industry in Turkey and bringing valuable work to the region."
"We are manufacturing first-level, critical airframe and wing components for the world's largest aviation firms, such as Boeing, Lockheed Martin and Airbus," added Osman Okyay, Technical Division president for Kale Group. "This factory constitutes a highly critical component of our growth in the defense and aviation industry, and certainly bolsters Turkey's technology know-how and leadership in the region."
"The Kale P&W collaboration establishes a world-class manufacturing capability to produce military aircraft engine components for our customers around the world. As we prepare for an increase in F135 engine production, we are actively seeking suppliers and partners like Kale Group who can deliver high-quality parts, while meeting cost targets," said Bennett Croswell, president, Pratt & Whitney Military Engines. "Partnerships such as the one with Kale are important to Pratt & Whitney's overall manufacturing strategy, which is based on balancing capability, capacity, flexibility and affordability to provide as much value as possible to our customers."
About Kale Aero
Kale Aero is part of a large and a diversified industrial conglomerate of Turkey, Kale Group. The group embracing over fifty years of experience in building materials is also active in robotics, energy, in addition to defense and aerospace. Kale has been a reliable supplier in various national and multi-national defense and aerospace projects since 1989.
About Pratt & Whitney
Pratt & Whitney is a world leader in the design, manufacture and service of aircraft engines, auxiliary power units, and small turbojet propulsion products. United Technologies Corp., based in Hartford, Connecticut, is a diversified company providing high technology products and services to the building and aerospace industries. To learn more about UTC, visit its website at www.utc.com, or follow the company on Twitter: @UTC.