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June 17, 2013

Jet fighter contract, work with consortium also fuel Oxford’s growth

In addition to its work in developing skull implants, Oxford Performance Materials has won a multi-million-dollar, multi-year contract to provide parts to Northrop Grumman for its production of the Joint Strike Fighter aircraft.

The Joint Strike Fighter Program is the Department of Defense’s focal point for defining affordable next generation strike aircraft weapon systems for the Navy, Air Force, Marines and U.S. allies. The program is focused on reducing development and production costs, as well as the cost of ownership of the JSF family of aircraft.

The $750 million program contract will run for at least 20 years, according to Scott DeFelice, president of the South Windsor manufacturer. Oxford Performance Materials makes advanced polymer-based industrial parts for the aerospace, semiconductor and chemical process industries.

Currently nine nations have committed to participate in the jet fighter’s development program, and another two may buy F-35s, with nearly 3,000 aircraft expected to be produced.

Lockheed Martin is the F-35 prime contractor, while Northrop Grumman and BAE Systems are principal partners in the project, according to an American Forces press release.

Oxford Performance Materials also is among the companies connected to a $70 million consortium tasked with demonstrating ways to improve and expand manufacturing in the United States.

The National Additive Manufacturing Innovation Institute (NAMII) is a public-private partnership with organizations from industry, academia, government and workforce development resources collaborating to transition additive manufacturing technology to the mainstream U.S. manufacturing sector.

The NAMII is the pilot institute for the National Network for Manufacturing Innovation (NNIMI) and the first of 15 NNMI institutes. The first investment came from a $30 million federal grant that established the NAMII. An additional $40 million will come from nine research universities, five community colleges, 40 companies and 11 non-profit organizations that are a part of the institute.

Oxford Performance Materials will create a technical product database for NAMII, according to DeFelice.

Once the polymer skull implant manufacturer completes the database, “we can then enter commercial part production for the aerospace industry,” said DeFelice.

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