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VSMPO to expand titanium role at Airbus

Keywords: Tags  VSMPO-Avisma, Airbus SAS, titanium, Aerospace Dynamics Inc., Frank Haflich

LOS ANGELES — A new agreement between VSMPO-Avisma Corp. and Airbus SAS will greatly expand the Russian titanium producer’s already extensive role at Europe’s largest commercial aircraft builder.

The two companies signed a memorandum of understanding this week during the MAKS air show in Moscow that calls for an "end-to-end strategic collaboration" covering processing, recycling and development of new material. The ultimate goal of the agreement is to set up a "fully integrated industrial process," VSMPO said.

The broadened relationship between the two companies involves what appears to be a closed-loop system that will include titanium scrap recycling on Airbus programs, as well as the development of new alloys.

U.S. machining house Aerospace Dynamics International Inc., Valencia, Calif., will help VSMPO develop its own capabilities in this area.

VSMPO is already responsible for 60 percent of the semi-finished and titanium forging requirements of Airbus and its parent company, the European Aeronautic Defence & Space Co. NV (EADS).

VSMPO also noted this week that the two companies are working toward qualification of VSMPO to produce titanium tubing for Airbus programs.

VSMPO signed an agreement in 2011 to provide Airbus with titanium landing gear forgings for its newest program, the A350-1000, through 2020 ( Sept. 9, 2011).

VSMPO general director Mikhail Voevodin said in a statement that the two companies have collaborated for more than 20 years, with products gradually increasing in complexity.

The new agreement confirms Airbus’ commitment to support VSMPO’s role not only as a raw material supplier "but also as a high-value-added products supplier and key R&D (research and development) partner," said Klaus Richter, Airbus’ executive vice president for procurement.

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