Reports of the Demise of American Aerospace Have Been Greatly Exaggerated
There have been many media reports to the effect that the American aerospace and defense industries are as good as dead in the face of impending federal spending cuts. Some forecasters have gone as far saying that one million American workers face losing their jobs if this were to happen. Others contend this is not the case. We at PEI are not really here to speculate on questions like these. What we are focused on is the Big Picture. And we are here to state with confidence that the long-term survival and prosperity of America’s aerospace and defense industries are well assured.
Yes, it’s true that the purchase of 177 of the new 5th generation F-35 Lightning II “Joint Strike Fighters” has been postponed to 2017. But the overall commitment from the Pentagon remains firm to providing the full complement of 2,443 F-35s – the final of which will be produced well into the 2030s. Likewise, while the F-22 Raptor stealth fighter program may be on hold for the moment – there comes news that China has developed a Raptor “knock-off” fighter that may well provide the necessary spur to continuing the development of these powerful fighters. Alone, these programs would net American aerospace defense companies such as Northrop-Grumman, BAE, Lockheed-Martin and Boeing with hundreds of billions of dollars in contracts. But that’s not all. The piece de resistance may well arrive in the form of a long-rumored replacement for the venerable B-52 bomber. Going on 50 years in service, Pentagon planners seek to replace the B-52 with 100+ long-range heavy stealth bombers by the mid-2020s, thereby completing American military aviation’s full upgrade to “5th Generation.”
This news resonates profoundly at PEI, since we already fabricate customized mil-spec flat lids for major American aerospace defense applications. These photochemically etched flat lids are designed to house crucial microelectronics systems in extremely grueling weather and pressure conditions. While our house specialty lies in working with iron-nickel-cobalt alloy, we can photo-etch in a wide range of metals and alloys whenever needed. While defense cuts may well be on the way – who knows? – the long-game demise of American aviation is hardly the right conclusion to draw.
- Share this: