Don't take this lightly, getting nickel and titanium in the aerospace business is next to impossible right now. Items that used to have 2 week lead times now have 15 month lead times unless you have a stock of the metal on hand. Vendors who used to be happy selling you one or two tons of the material now want to see multi-year contracts that
Airbus plans to announce as early as today that it has signed contracts valued at $1.4 billion to secure its supply of titanium through 2015, amid a world-wide race to lock in sources of valuable raw materials.
The European plane maker has finalized deals with RTI International Metals Inc. of Niles, Ohio, and OAO VSMPO-Avisma of Russia, two of the world's top processors of the strong, lightweight metal. Airbus also has struck a deal with Ust-Kamenogorsk Titanium-Magnesium Plant of Kazakhstan to supply titanium ore, which RTI will process. It will use the material for planes such as the A380 two-deck jetliner, company officials said.