Spirit AeroSystems has opened a new research center at Wichita State University in Kansas to advance work on high temperature materials, such as hypersonic weapons, for aviation, defense and space programs.
The National Defense Prototype Center covers over 125,000-square-foot of space for manufacturing and laboratory activities such as material processing and characterization work, the Wichita, Kansas-based aerospace company said Friday.
Located at WSU’s National Institute for Aviation Research, NDPC features high-temperature testing, material processing and fabricating furnaces, non-destructive inspection, robotic automated fiber placement technology, large autoclave and other capabilities.
“The NDPC provides a secure space for high temperature materials testing, as well as development, prototyping and industrialization capabilities to support Spirit’s growth strategy targeting $1 billion of defense revenue by the mid-2020s,” said Duane Hawkins, executive vice president at the company and president of its defense and space arm.
The Wichita center was opened following the Department of Defense’s designation of Kansas as a manufacturing community under the Defense Manufacturing Community Support Program, which is meant to strengthen national security innovation and the defense industrial ecosystem.