October 30, 2012
Boeing and Russian Technologies seek to expand partnership in titanium supply
Boeing and the State Corporation Russian Technologies (Rostech), a majority shareholder in the joint stock company VSMPO-AVISMA Corp., are working on an agreement to expand collaboration in titanium procurement and technology development. Boeing and Rostech also are seeking to increase their cooperation in commercial aviation services. Boeing and VSMPO-AVISMA are considering expansion of their titanium-production joint venture Ural Boeing Manufacturing (UBM) to support ongoing production increases for the Next-Generation 737. UBM has purchased four new advanced-technology machines to increase capacity for machining Next-Generation 737 landing gear beams. The machines are scheduled for installation in 2013. Supporting the 737 program, the most popular jet in commercial aviation history, would be a significant milestone and business opportunity for UBM. VSMPO-AVISMA has been a Boeing partner and supplier of raw material and titanium parts through a series of long-term purchasing agreements dating back to 1997, when Boeing awarded its first contract to the Russian titanium producer. Boeing and VSMPO-AVISMA also are working to continue joint support of the Titanium Innovation Center. The center has developed three new technologies that have been utilized in production of the 787 Dreamliner and Next-Generation 737 and may also be used by the Russian aerospace industry. Among these technologies are a new high-strength titanium alloy and a technology for fabrication of titanium sheets for super-plastic forming. The companies will continue developing technologies and alloys to further reduce the cost of titanium parts in commercial airplane manufacturing.