PARIS, June 19 Chris Kubasik, fired last year as
Lockheed Martin Corp's incoming CEO after having an
affair with a subordinate, said he has joined the board of
directors of a Norwegian titanium producer that works closely
with Spirit AeroSystems Inc.
Kubasik told Reuters at the Paris air show that he saw great
promise in the technology developed by Norsk Titanium Components
AS for processing titanium far more efficiently than
conventional methods, and he believes it could generate billions
of dollars of revenue in the future.
Norsk Titanium, a privately held firm founded in 2007, uses
a process similar to 3-D printing to build titanium components
close to their final shape, instead of whittling a large
titanium block down, a process that reduces waste dramatically,
uses less energy and is significantly faster.
Jon Andre Lokke, chief executive of Norsk Titanium, said the
new process could yield enormous savings for commercial
aerospace companies and others that use titanium parts,
particularly on airplanes made of composite materials.
Norsk Titanium and Spirit Aerosystems announced on Monday
that the process, also called direct metal deposition, had hit a
big milestone by achieving technology readiness level six
(TRL6). Lokke said the companies expected to reach technology
readiness level eight (TRL8) by mid-2014.
Kubasik, who has been doing some consulting work in the
aerospace sector, said he would help Norsk as it looked for
preliminary contracts with potential aerospace customers.
Larry Lawson, the former head of Lockheed's aeronautics
business, worked closely with Kubasik at Lockheed before leaving
the company in March to become the chief executive of Spirit