GAO: Titanium Aircraft Component Makers Still Competitive

While industry consolidation and the management of titanium sourcing are factors that could hurt US aircraft component manufacturers’ ability to compete for Defense Department contracts, the manufacturers have yet to experience a major negative impact, announced Government Accountability Office auditors. Companies manufacturing titanium aircraft components for DOD are required by law to use US-sourced titanium unless the companies are in one of 23 “qualifying countries,” in which case they may use foreign-produced titanium when manufacturing aircraft parts for the Pentagon, states the summary of GAO’s new report on this topic, issued on July 1. The report comes in the wake of congressional concerns that US titanium aircraft component manufacturers are losing market share to foreign counterparts over the pricing disparities of domestic- and foreign-sourced titanium bars and sheets, according to GAO. However, US manufacturers still supplied 70 percent to 100 percent of titanium aircraft components to DOD prime contractors in the past decade, states the summary.