A rapidly growing Meggitt Polymers & Composites, a unit of Meggitt plc, is planning to expand its San Diego operations, moving to a 120,000-square-foot facility less than a half mile from its current plant.
The expansion coincides with the ramp-up of the F35 Lightning II combat fighter aircraft program for which Meggitt makes engine components and other structures.
It is currently using two buildings with a combined 70,000 square feet. The larger facility will provide room for it to expand into the commercial aircraft market. The San Diego facility will focus on multi-axis pressure compression molding and autoclave processes.
The relocation requires about a $10 million investment and will result in over 200 jobs by 2020 for composite technicians, program managers, and manufacturing and quality engineers. The company expects to start construction in November, with a phased occupancy to be completed by April, 2017.
“Aircraft manufacturers are in a race to convert as much metal to composite as possible because the reduction in weight saves fuel, and production costs are much less,” said President David Horner.
The Meggitt Polymers and Composites division is headquartered in Rockmart, Ga., and has 2,908 employees. It concentrates on sealing solutions, fuel containment and systems, complex composite structures, ice protection, engine components and radomes.
Meggitt, an engineering group based in the United Kingdom, specializes in the aerospace, defense and energy markets. It boosted its composite businesses in 2015 by acquiring the advanced composites businesses of Cobham Plc for $200 million.
The Cobham businesses made composite engine components, radomes and complex secondary structures for air-to-air refueling, and structural munitions components.