GE picks Alabama for new engine coatings plant


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GE Aviation selected Alabama as the site of a new coatings plant for military jet engines. The $45 million plant is projected to employ 300 to 400 workers, building components for the F136 jet engine. 


GE said the Alabama environmental coatings plant will be about 200,000 square feet. The company said the coatings are used to enhance the durability of jet engine components by protecting the base metal from corrosion and harsh temperatures. 


It will enhance components for the GE Rolls-Royce F136 jet engine for the Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) F-35 program. The JSF F-35, the largest military procurement in U.S. history, is a multi-role aircraft to replace numerous tactical fighter aircraft flying today. Potential F-35 production for the U.S. Air Force, Navy, Marines and international customers is expected to reach more than 5,000 aircraft over 30 years.


Due to anticipated F136 production volume, GE’s need for developing environmental coatings and associated manufacturing processes continues to grow. The technology requires a highly skilled and flexible workforce, and it will create meaningful collaborative opportunities for Alabama’s university system. Given the long-term potential for the F136 program, GE Aviation hosted a supplier symposium in late September to assist small companies in Alabama desiring to do business with GE.