Pratt & Whitney to expand in Midwest City

Published: Thursday, June 20, 2019 By: Christian Tabak Source: The Journal Record

A multimillion-dollar investment by aerospace company Pratt & Whitney will fund a major expansion of its Military Aftermarket Services business in Midwest City, company officials said Wednesday.

The expansion will support sustainment operations based out of the Oklahoma City Air Logistics Complex at Tinker Air Force Base. The expansion also promises to bring more than 100 long-term jobs.

“Pratt & Whitney has a long-standing partnership with Oklahoma City and the state of Oklahoma. This expansion gives us access to a talented workforce which will help us to continue to deliver on customer commitments,” said Kevin Kirkpatrick, Pratt & Whitney’s vice president for military engines sustainment operations. “Oklahoma City has been a great municipal partner and we are pleased to grow our operations here.”

With this latest expansion, Pratt & Whitney’s presence in Oklahoma City will have grown tenfold over the last 15 years. Through its partnership with Tinker Air Force Base, the company now supports more than a dozen engine types. They include the F135, F119 and F117, which is significant because the base’s F135 engine fleet is expected to double within the next three years.

“Aerospace is rapidly becoming one of the pillars of Oklahoma City’s economy, and it’s because of the investments being made by companies like Pratt & Whitney,” said Oklahoma City Mayor David Holt. “We’re excited for this announcement and the promise of more high-paying jobs for our citizens.”

Aerospace is the second-largest growing industry in Oklahoma, behind Oklahoma’s energy sector in contributing to the state’s economic growth. Between 2017 and 2018, aircraft manufacturing added 3,800 jobs. The manufacturing of aerospace parts and products added 4,400 jobs during the same period, according to a report by labor market analytics company Economic Modeling Inc.

Since 2015, the Oklahoma Department of Commerce has assisted with business announcements from aerospace companies totaling more than 7,000 new jobs and more than $700 million in planned capital investment, according to DOC Public Information Officer Leslie Blair.

One of the most recent new business announcements was from U.K.-based Cobham Mission Systems, which announced in March it would be operating out of Midwest City to support the KC-46 tanker program at Tinker Air Force Base.

“Aerospace has a $44 billion impact on our state, and we are working to further strengthen and grow this industry,” said Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt. “As the site of the largest air depot in the U.S. Department of Defense, Oklahoma is a natural fit for companies like Pratt & Whitney. I appreciate their commitment to growing and investing in Oklahoma and look forward to seeing the company continue to advance.”

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