The US Department of Defense (DoD) has granted $80m in funding to Spirit AeroSystems to expand its domestic production capability.

Awarded in support of the Defense Industrial Base (DIB), the funds are part of the national response to the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.

Under the CARES Act, the DIB is supported by Defense Production Act Title III contracts.

Spirit AeroSystems senior vice-president and Defense and Fabrication president Duane Hawkins said: “We appreciate the confidence our customers have in Spirit’s capabilities to serve a variety of critical defence needs.

“This funding for Spirit provides the DoD additional production capacity for defence needs and helps maintain critical skills in the Defense Industrial Base.”

The funds will be used to build tooling, fabricate composite parts and machine complex metallic parts at its facility in Wichita, Kansas.

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The company supports multiple military programmes for the US Air Force, the US Navy, the US Marine Corps and the US Army.

Spirit AeroSystems designs and manufactures both composite and metallic structures, crafting detailed parts for original equipment manufacturers.

The facility in Wichita focuses on complex, soft metal parts for fuselage, pylon and wing structures.

Hawkins added: “Our growing work on defence programmes has provided a measure of stability for the company and helped us as we shift capacity to serve other needs, particularly in the defence market.

“These funds under Title III will help retain employees with critical skills.”