Arizona demonstrates dominance in defense manufacturing

With a recent $1 billion contract between Honeywell and the US Air Force, Arizona continues to exemplify why it’s ranked one of the best states for defense and aerospace manufacturing.

PricewaterhouseCoopers listed Arizona as the number one state in their 2016 Aerospace Manufacturing Attractiveness ranking. By the end of the year, the state boasted 1,200 aerospace and defense companies, which employed over 52,000 people. In addition, Arizona ranked top 10 in both aviation/aerospace employment and aerospace government contracts.

Clearly, this excellence has continued into 2018, as Honeywell secured a 10-year, $1.036 billion contract with the US Air Force late last month. Under the partnership, Honeywell will provide logistics support for Air Force secondary power systems on several types of aircraft and ground-based control units. These power systems will boost the performance of seven types of aircraft, allowing pilots to operate safely and smoothly.

Steven Williams, Honeywell vice president for Defense & Space Americas Aftermarket, explains that the contract provides a mutually beneficial relationship between Honeywell and the US Air Force.

“We’re excited about this opportunity to continue a highly successful public-private partnership with the Air Force,” said Williams. “Over the past decade, we have built a strong team with the Air Force and DLA teams, which have enabled Honeywell to deliver superior results, including dramatic improvements in availability rates and backorders. These and other improvements have resulted in significant cost-savings for the Air Force and the American taxpayer.”

Although this will not provide any new job opportunities for Arizona citizens, as the contract is more of a continuation of a fully-staffed project, Honeywell representative Adam Kress highlights the importance of Arizona to the company.

“Arizona is hugely important for Honeywell. Our aerospace strategic business unit is based in Phoenix, and we employ thousands of people across the state in many areas of the business,” Kress notes. “We have a long history in Arizona that we’re very proud of, and we expect to continue having major operations here for many years.”

Additionally, Arizona’s new defense contracts do not stop there – Boeing secured two US Army contracts consisting of $288 million worth of work in their Mesa facility. Under the contract, Boeing will build 17 new Apache helicopters and continue the development of supply chain management within the Army.

“With our integrated production, services and training teams, Boeing is able to affordably support the Army through each phase of the Apache’s lifecycle,” said Kim Smith, vice president, Attack Helicopter Programs, Boeing Vertical Lift. “The dedication and commitment to first-time quality by Boeing teammates and suppliers combine to deliver an Apache that is ready to meet the rigorous demands of the men and women who depend on it.”  

Ben Norman

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