Spirit AeroSystems to focus more on defense work

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WICHITA, Kan. (AP) _ The president and chief executive officer for Spirit AeroSystems says defense work will become more of a focus for the Wichita-based aircraft parts maker.

Larry Lawson told The Wichita Eagle that defense work could make up 10 to 15 percent of Spirit's sales in five to 10 years. Today, he estimates it probably comprises less than 5 percent.

He says the company can provide both design and manufacturing capabilities at distinctly lower costs. That makes Spirit attractive to the commercial customer as well as the defense industry.

He says that's especially true in a time of declining defense budgets.

Spirit has work on the Boeing KC-46A refueling tanker for the Air Force, the Boeing P-8 Poseidon for the Navy and the Sikorsky Ch-53K heavy lift helicopter.