A $7.7 million loan to Asco Aerospace Canada for the research and development of technology for the Defence Department’s new stealth fighter jets has been obtained.The multi-million dollar repayable investment will go toward Asco’s $19.2 million project that involves manufacturing technologies to produce aircraft bulkheads and specialized metal components to be used in the F-35 Lightning II aircraft that will eventually replace Canada’s aging CF-18s.
Asco will work in collaboration with the University of B.C.’s Manufacturing Automation Laboratory, to look at a manufacturing process capable of handling aluminum, titanium and other hard metals that are difficult to machine while reducing production time and costs.
Kevin Russell, vice-president of Asco Aerospace Canada states that “The manufacturing of those parts is extremely challenging and they’re very expensive parts some of the pieces of titanium alone are worth $300,000, and much of the work is done using computer simulation before the machine cuts into any metal. It’s certainly pushing us to another level from a manufacturing point of view.”
Russell added it is important for Canada to stay on the leading edge of technology development.
“We really feel this is really helping grow and develop very good high technology jobs here in British Columbia,” he said. “The way the global environment is today, if we don’t continue doing a lot of R and D and staying ahead of the technology curve, we will not be continually competitive in the world.”
Information for this post was sourced from The Province and South Delta Leader, for more information on this project please refer to their sites.