When it comes to defense, if it moves, there’s a good chance we’re on it. Across air, land and sea, Arconic’s defense innovations maximize speed, agility and survivability. Rick Pennycuick, Arconic Defense Vice President of Business Development and a 29-year veteran of the U.S. Army explains what keeps Arconic on the front lines.
Q: What trends are you seeing in defense applications?
A: We are seeing increasing interest in exploring opportunities with 3D printing. The ability to 3D print parts for rapid prototyping, for example, is both time and cost efficient. 3D printing can also be used to make replacement components that are no longer mass-produced, extending the service life of older equipment.
Q: What kind of products does Arconic supply to the defense industry?
A: We have been supplying advanced components to the military for over a century. Throughout that time, we have developed innovations to help increase the durability and survivability of ground combat vehicles; and we continue to provide virtually every jet engine maker with cutting edge engine parts; provide advanced products for aircraft and military helicopters; and provide crucial structures for the most advanced military aircraft like the bulkhead on the Joint Strike Fighter, just to name a few.
Q: Why do military and defense partners choose Arconic?
A: The combination of our commercial and defense expertise combined with our deep roots in materials science sets us apart. For example, after developing the world’s largest aerospace forging for Airbus – the A380 aluminum wing spar – we applied that knowledge to forge large bulkheads in one piece for Lockheed Martin’s JSF, saving 300-400 pounds per jet, and helping our customer meet aggressive weight, range and fuel efficiency targets.
Q: How does your background in the military help you in your role today?
A: I served as an Aviation Officer for 15 years and throughout training and in combat, I experienced first-hand how products like the ones we make keep soldiers safe. I also worked on the business side of the Army and learned how the Department of Defense procures products for helicopters, ships, trucks, tanks – you name it. That experience helps me anticipate customers’ needs, thereby helping to ensure that Arconic remains a valued partner. What’s more, the skills the military stresses – how to lead, listen and work as a team – are qualities valued here at Arconic.
Q: What does Veterans' Day mean to you?
A: As a veteran, your military family is always a part of your life. And when I say that, I mean Army friends, Marine Corp friends, Navy friends and Air Force friends. So on Veterans’ Day, we remember our fallen friends and cherish those who are still with us.
Q: How does it feel to know your work helps keep soldiers safe?
A: For me, it’s especially personal. My wife and I met when we were serving as Army Aviators (between the two of us we have 55 years of service). We have three daughters—two in the Army and the third attending college on an Army scholarship. My daughter’s boyfriend just returned home safely from an overseas tour of duty. It is my belief that Arconic employees are indeed motivated to serve our military people and know their families rely on what we do.