SALT LAKE CITY, 18 Aug. 2012. ITT Exelis (NYSE: XLS) has opened a new composite design and manufacturing center in Salt Lake City, Utah. The new facility provides increased capacity and enhanced automation capability for commercial and military composite aircraft structures.
The facility was opened due to high demand from domestic and international customers, according to Jim Barber, vice president and general manager of the Exelis Electronic Systems Integrated Structures business.
Composite structures are used by airframers as an alternative to metal structural parts on commercial and military aircraft, as well as on unmanned aerial vehicles. These structures add value because they help decrease an aircraft’s weight and fuel consumption and increase its resilience to environmental conditions and in-flight stress. With the company’s new facility, Exelis will be better positioned to meet customers' needs for composites.
The new facility combines automated fiber placement and tape laying capability with high speed machining, inspection and assembly.
The expansion aligns with the company's strategy to invest in broad-based government and commercial solutions, such as aerostructures and air traffic management. By adding 250,000 square feet to its Salt Lake City footprint and hiring 100 employees during the past year, ITT Exelis is taking steps to meet military and commercial customer demand.
Exelis has been designing and manufacturing of composite structures and assemblies in Utah for more than 40 years. Along with producing parts for military applications, such as the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter and the Marine Corps’ heavy lift helicopter, the CH-53K, Exelis provides engines to GE for a wide variety of aircraft and vacuum tanks for several of the Boeing 7-series jets.