Pentagon says it will invest $77 million to bolster industrial base

By Marjorie Censer / July 24, 2020 at 1:37 PM

The Pentagon said today it is investing $77.3 million in three different companies to "sustain and strengthen essential domestic industrial base capabilities and defense-critical workforce in the aviation, rare earth materials, and electronics industries."

The investments were made through Title III of the Defense Production Act, DOD said.

The Pentagon said it entered into a $33.6 million agreement with Hopewell Junction, NJ-based eMagin Corp. to bolster the domestic electronics industrial base.

The agreement is intended to "sustain and expand critical industrial base production of organic light-emitting diode (OLED) microdisplays capable of meeting high-performance requirements in resolution and brightness."

eMagin will use the money to replace and update single-point-of-failure and aging equipment, which DOD said will reduce downtime and increase yield.

"Using funds authorized and appropriated under the CARES Act, this DPA Title III investment will offset financial distress brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic and enable eMagin Corporation to retain current staff and create 14 new jobs made up of engineers, maintenance technicians, and manufacturing personnel," the Defense Department added.

DOD also said it is directing $14.9 million to Meggitt-Rockmart in Rockmart, GA, to "increase domestic production capability and capacity of military grade fuel bladders for use in a wide range of U.S. military aircraft platforms."

It has allocated another $28.8 million for Austin, TX-based Urban Mining Co. "to assist in developing a domestic source for Neodymium Iron Boron (NdFeB) rare earth permanent magnets."

"NdFeB magnets are essential components for many DOD programs that enable miniaturization and high performance of guidance, propulsion, and power systems," the Pentagon added. "This investment will enable Urban Mining Company to maintain and protect critical workforce capabilities during the disruption caused by COVID-19 while strengthening a vital domestic supply-chain of rare earth materials."