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By: Journal Record Staff//March 28, 2023//
Pratt & Whitney plans $255M investment in OKC Sustainment Center
By: Journal Record Staff//March 28, 2023//
Plans announced by Pratt & Whitney to invest $255 million over the next five years in a new 845,000-square-foot facility in Oklahoma City will strengthen the state’s position as a global hub for aerospace maintenance, repair and overhaul, officials say.
The planned Oklahoma City Sustainment Center, to be a primary operations site for military engines including those for the F-35, C-17, F-22, F-15, F-16, B-52 and E-3 AWACS, also will be key to sustaining the security of the United States and its allies around the world.
Pratt & Whitney’s F135, billed as one of the most advanced jet engines ever produced, powers the F-35 Lightning II fighter, key to the defense of the U.S. and multiple other nations. Sixteen nations are listed by the company as F-35 program participants.
U.S. Rep. Tom Cole, whose 4th District includes much of the Oklahoma City metro and Tinker Air Force Base, said Pratt & Whitney’s investment will equate to a direct investment in meeting the nation’s military obligations and national security objectives.
“This facility will play a particularly important role in rapidly delivering the F135 engine core upgrade to the F-35 fleet, which is critical to ensuring all the services have the capabilities they need to fight an advancing threat starting in 2028,” the Republican said in a statement.
Pratt & Whitney has an extensive history in Oklahoma, dating to World War II. Currently, the company employs more than 450 people in the metro area and counts 450 more as partner contractors. They range from engineers to data analysts to materials and logistics professionals.
In a release, the company said the new sustainment center will consolidate six existing sites, bringing all disciplines into two locations, the Pratt & Whitney Oklahoma City Sustainment Center and the Tinker Air Force Base Air Logistics Complex.
P&W Military Engines President Jill Albertelli said Oklahoma City is a critical piece of a global aircraft sustainment network.
“This investment in a new facility will further expand our capabilities and reaffirm our commitment to our customer for years to come,” Albertelli said. “We are grateful for the support provided by our partner, the United States Air Force, and by the state of Oklahoma and the local community.”
The global sustainment network extends from Oklahoma City to other locations within the U.S. and to other countries from Australia to Norway.
“This is an exciting announcement for Oklahoma and our growing international dominance in the aerospace and defense industry,” Gov. Kevin Stitt said in a statement.
“Tinker is a cornerstone of Oklahoma City’s economy and culture, and supporting companies that support the base is important to our entire city,” added Oklahoma City Mayor David Holt. “Pratt & Whitney’s investment in our city, and in the jobs added with this new facility, is significant and appreciated.”
Greater Oklahoma City Chamber President and CEO Christy Gillenwater said the work of Pratt & Whitney with partners including the Oklahoma Industries Authority and Alliance for Economic Development is well-appreciated.
“Pratt & Whitney has been a critical part of our business community for many years, and we look forward to a long relationship, working together to support their mission,” she said.
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