Ohio’s lost may be Texas’ gain, as defense industry jobs could be shifting from one state to the other, and this may be just be the beginning of the good news for those in the defense industry in Texas.
The British multinational defense company, BAE Systems, is moving military production from its West Chester, Ohio plant to Sealy, Texas. The Cincinnati Enquirer reports that Frank Pope, president of BAE Systems Land and Armaments Sector, said that “the decision to transition the military production work from our West Chester site to Sealy streamlines our organization, reduces cost and improves our competitive position.”
The move will cause the company to lay off 160 employees at the Ohio plant, but it is unclear how many employees will be hired in Texas. It is welcome news for a community who just two years ago suffered job losses after BAE Systems contract for combat truck production was rejected by the Pentagon.
Even as the specter of the defense budget cuts from “sequestration” raise concerns about defense industry jobs losses in Texas, more companies are receiving contracts. In addition to BAE Systems jobs possibly coming to Texas, several defense contractors have been awarded contracts that may benefit the Lone Star State.
Chromalloy Component Services, a company based in San Antonio was awarded a $10 million and $8.5 million contracts from the US Air Force.
The Hurst based Bell Helicopter Textron is being awarded $19 million under previously awarded contract. This work was for the repair of gearbox assemblies, rotor hub assemblies, rotor blades, right hand stub wings, and left hand stub wings required supporting the H-1 helicopter. This contract will last through 2014.
Raytheon Technical Services, a California based company, was awarded a $9 million contract to provide for the service in support of tube-launched optically tracked wireless guided missile. In addition to other locations, this work will take place in McKinney; Fort Hood; and Red River Army Depot. The estimated completion date of the contract is in 2016.
The Fort Worth based DynCorp International, was awarded a $4.5 million contract for support at the Engine Regional Repair Center at Laughlin Air Force Base.
Also based in Fort Worth, Lockheed Martin Aeronautics was awarded a $79 million contract for the manufacture and delivery of six F-35 Lightening II Full Mission Simulators. According to the contract 35 percent of the work is to take place in Texas, while California will receive 25 percent of the work and the United Kingdom will receive 20 percent of the work, with the remaining 20 percent performed at various locations.
L-3 Communications Corp’s Link Simulation & Training Division based in Arlington, received a $46 million contract from the Naval Air Warfare Center Training Systems Division for high definition visual systems for 23 F/A-18 and EA-18G Tactical Operational Flight Trainers. Almost the entirety of the contract (92 percent) will be performed in Arlington, with the additional 8 percent performed in Atsugi, Japan.
In Amarillo, the Bell Boeing Joint Project Office was awarded an $8.8 million contract from the Naval Air Systems Command for engineering associated with the production of the MV-22 aircraft with 98 percent of the work taking place in Fort Worth.