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iSuppli: Lack of dies may cost defense manufacturers billions

Forged metal parts play an essential role in a wide range of products, spanning markets including automotive, medical devices, and aerospace and defense, iSuppli wrote in a statement yesterday. However, the loss of dies used for creating forged parts is a problem that can cost billions of dollars to the defense industry alone, as systems age and the supply chain disintegrates, the firm added. With a forging die costing an average of as much as $18,000 to create, and a single aircraft platform containing upwards of 3,100 unique forged items, global defense equipment manufacturers could spend as much as $3M per platform recreating tooling, iSuppli believes. All told, the U.S. defense forces have $3.6B in 200,000 forging dies, iSuppli reported.