Boeing set up a joint venture Friday with Russia’s VSMPO-Avisma, the world’s largest titanium producer, to make components for the U.S. aviation giant’s super-light Dreamliner passenger aircraft.
The new company, Ural Boeing Manufacturing (UBM), is owned on a parity basis by Boeing and the Russian titanium maker, which is 66%-owned by state arms exporter Rosoboronexport. It will primarily manufacture pressed titanium components, which will undergo finishing at Boeing’s factory in Portland, Oregon, before assembly, the VSMPO-Avisma said.
The deal, originally announced in August 2006, has been met with apprehension in the West, which fears the leading U.S. aircraft maker could become too dependent on a supplier effectively controlled by the Kremlin.
UBM will start working in late 2008 when Boeing completes the purchase of equipment to be installed at the Ural plant, in which Russia has already invested around $5-6 million, VSMPO-Avisma said.
VSMPO-Avisma was established in July 2005. Boeing and European aircraft-making giant Airbus account for 30% of the Russian company’s earnings.