HITCO wins contract with Denel Saab

HITCO will make composite structures for the aft fuselage on the Embraer C-390 military transport aircraft.

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HITCO Carbon Composites Inc. (Gardena, Calif.), a subsidiary of SGL Group - The Carbon Company, announced on Jan. 26 that it has entered into a long-term strategic agreement with Denel Saab Aerostructures Ltd. (Kempton Park, Republic of South Africa), a subsidiary of South African and Swedish aerospace manufacturers to collaborate in composite components manufacturing for the Embraer C-390 military transport aircraft. Denel Saab and HITCO intend to produce composite components, such as the aft fuselage, ensuring that the aircraft meets established performance goals within aircraft weight targets. Enhanced, automated manufacturing solutions will be offered by these two companies to maximize customer value and affordability.

In announcing this agreement, Peter Hoffman, president of HITCO Carbon Composites, said, "HITCO took delivery of its Viper 6000 automated fiber placement [AFP] machine in October 2008 from Cincinnati MAG.  This AFP equipment complements our existing automated tape laying (ATL) capacity that will provide commercial and military customers automated solutions to their growing composite needs for major aerostructure components. We will utilize our AFP equipment for fabricating the complex composite Aft Fuselage II work package."

Lana Kinley, CEO of Denel Saab Aerostructures, also commented: "We at Denel Saab are pleased to have HITCO on board offering advanced manufacturing solutions for the Embraer C-390 program. Like them, we have invested in major plant upgrades and capital equipment. By entering into this relationship, we offer a great value-add to our customers."

HITCO, supported by its parent SGL Group, has developed enhanced capabilities for manufacturing composites for the aerospace industry. The company continues to execute its plan for expanding and upgrading its production facilities to accommodate even more modern production equipment.

Denel Saab is a recently merged subsidiary of the South African, State-owned aerospace and defense manufacturer Denel and Saab AB, of Sweden for the purpose of manufacturing aerostructures. The merger was announced mid-2006, in Stockholm, Sweden.