Lockheed Martin is supporting the advancement of Taiwan’s aerospace and defence (A&D) industry through a programme to support the indigenous development and production of titanium, the US corporation has confirmed to Jane’s .
The ‘titanium investment casting’ project is being carried out under an industrial co-operation programme (ICP) linked to Taiwan’s procurement of Lockheed Martin Patriot Advanced Capability-3 (PAC-3) surface-to-air missiles.
A spokesperson from Lockheed Martin said on 3 July, “Lockheed Martin has a long history of support and co-operation for industrialisation efforts in Taiwan. The titanium investment casting project is another example of our successful partnership.”
Jane’s understands that the project consists of Lockheed Martin’s Missiles and Fire Control (MFC) business division transferring technologies and know-how to industry in Taiwan to build understanding and capability in the investment casting process for titanium. The project has reportedly recently been approved for implementation.
According to documents published by Taiwan ICP Office (ICPO) – an agency under the Ministry of Economic Affairs’ Industrial Development Bureau – the project is intended to enhance the proficiency in Taiwan in titanium investment casting process technology in the areas of radiographic and penetrate inspection, hot isostatic pressure processing, pyrometry control, weld inspection methods, and certification to aerospace standards.
The ICPO added, “As a result of receiving this technology transfer assistance offered by MFC, [Taiwanese industry] will have the capabilities and ability to produce aerospace- and defence-grade titanium casting per military requirements.”
Lockheed Martin’s potential industrial partners on the titanium project have not been revealed but companies in Taiwan that have related capability include Cheng Huan Industry, CB-Ceratizit, Alformer Industrial, Alljack Technologies, Fong Jaw Aerospace, Yomura Technologies, and Chengfeng Machinery.
Lockheed Martin’s most recent PAC-3 requirement in the country was framed by a programme announced by the US government in 2010. This called for the delivery of 114 PAC-3 missiles and associated equipment and, according to the US Defense Security Cooperation Agency, had an estimated value of USD2.81 billion.