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Air Force may bar Howmet jet parts

SHARE Air Force may bar Howmet jet parts

Howmet International, a maker of turbine jet engine parts that is 85 percent owned by Salt Lake-based Cordant Technologies, formerly Thiokol, could be barred from getting future Air Force contracts.

The Air Force on Tuesday sent Howmet a notice that it may be barred as a result of poor product quality control at its Cercast aluminum casting operation in Montreal. Cercast makes air frame and engine frame structures. In addition, there are allegations that an employee who bought tools for Howmet was taking money from suppliers in exchange for business.Roland Paul, spokesman for the Connecticut-headquartered Howmet, said the company believes the Air Force's proposed action is unwarranted. "There are no safety concerns involved in this at all," he said. Howmet had $1.35 billion in sales last year. Defense contracts account for 14 percent of its revenues.

Securities analyst Paul Nisbet at JSA Research Inc. in Rhode Island said while shareholders of both Howmet and Cordant should be concerned, there is little chance Howmet will be barred.