UK-based GKN Aerospace is opening a new center in Fort Worth that will bring 100 jobs in the next five years to the area. 

The business supplies technology for Lockheed Martin’s F-35, Gulfstream and many other aerospace companies. Inside the 100,000-square-foot space located at the Lone Star Commerce Center just north of the Naval Air Station near Loop 820, the staff will research advanced manufacturing techniques for large titanium parts used in the aerospace industry. 

Proximity to customers in Texas and the U.S. is one reason for the location choice, Shawn Black, GKN Aerospace’s president of defense, said in a statement.

“Along with partnership with local government, we look forward to expanding our titanium additive manufacturing capabilities and pushing the boundaries of this technology for our customers and the aerospace industry,” Black said.  

GKN will transfer equipment and staff from the Oak Ridge National Laboratory’s manufacturing demonstration facility in Tennessee to the Fort Worth center. GKN officials expect the new center will be operational early next year, according to the company release. 

GKN company profile
Headquartered: United Kingdom
Employees: 15,000 across 12 countries
What GKN does: Builds and supplies aerospace technologies for vehicles such as helicopters, business jets, passenger planes and fighter aircrafts such as the F-35. 

In October, Fort Worth City Council approved  $7 million in tax credits through a Chapter 380 Research and Development Credit Program if the company spends $40.5 million in research and development in five years. The city was competing with Arlington, McKinney, Missouri and Oak Ridge, Tennessee, for the technology center. 

Aerospace and defense is one of the targeted industries the city’s economic development department is trying to attract, according to its updated strategic plan. City officials are trying to rebrand the city as one open to innovation and have been spending money on advertising Fort Worth. 

Fort Worth is excited to bring more cutting-edge research and development to the region, Robert Sturns, director of Fort Worth’s economic development department, said in a statement.

“This center of excellence builds on a strong cluster of Fort Worth-based firms who are innovating the future of aerospace and transportation manufacturing, and we look forward to the partnership that we are building with GKN Aerospace,” Sturns said in a statement. 

The aerospace and defense industry is abundant in Fort Worth. Lockheed Martin employs more than 22,000 people in Fort Worth. Bell Textron Inc. is headquartered in Fort Worth and employs more than 4,000 people. 

Seth Bodine is a business and economic development reporter for the Fort Worth Report. Contact him at seth.bodine@fortworthreport.org and follow on Twitter at @sbodine120.

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Seth Bodine

Seth Bodine is the business reporter for the Fort Worth Report. He previously covered agriculture and rural issues in Oklahoma for the public radio station, KOSU, as a Report for America corps member....