GE Aviation invests $580m in US manufacturing

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GE Aviation plans to expand its manufacturing and research and development footprints in the US with three new facilities to open by 2013.

The company said its production rates are expected to grow from around 3,000 commercial and military engine deliveries in 2011 to 3,400 deliveries in 2012, and 3,800 deliveries in 2013.

GE Aviation will invest around $580 million in plant, equipment, and tooling across its network of 55 US facilities in the 2011-2012 time period, the company said. It will add more than 400 employees over the next three years in the US.

By year-end, GE Aviation will complete construction of factories in Ellisville, Mississippi and Auburn, Alabama.

The Ellisville factory will manufacture advanced composite components for jet engines and aircraft systems, while the Auburn site will produce advanced machined parts for commercial and military engines.

Located on the University of Dayton campus, construction is under way for GE's new electrical power integrated systems research and development centre (EPISCENTER). The centre will collaborate with University researchers on advanced computer modelling, simulation, and analysis of advanced, dynamic electric power systems and controls. The centre will be operational in 2013.

GE Aviation's investment in its US operations has not been limited to these new sites. The Evendale, Ohio, headquarters is undergoing a multiyear, $100 million renovation. The airfoils facility in Greenville, South Carolina, is adding 100 jobs between 2010 and 2013.

At the GE Aviation flight test operation in Victorville, California, a newly acquired Boeing 747-400 aircraft is undergoing a $60 million refurbishment and conversion to serve as a flying testbed.