The U.S. Navy intends to award a contract for large forgings to Lehigh Heavy Forge Corp. of Bethlehem, Pa. The contract, managed through the Defense Production Act Title III Office at Wright Patterson Air Force Base, is meant to support the heavy forging requirements of the Department of Defense (DoD) by addressing items that impact cost, quality, yields and delivery. This initiative will involve upgrading and refurbishing the production equipment and infrastructure for heavy forged parts of interest to the DoD. Heavy forging production includes the forging of ingots of up to 300 tons and 130 inches in diameter.
The primary military applications for heavy forgings include propulsion shafts, pressure vessels and bull-gear ring forgings to support the Navy for both surface and subsurface vessels. Heavy forging production to support the DoD requires a 10,000-ton open-die press, the supporting internal infrastructure, an established supply chain for vacuum-stream-degassed ingots and specialized transportation.