The work involved the complete redesign and modernisation of the 92ft press, with five stories above and seven below the ground.

The press was originally installed in 1952 as part of the Air Force Heavy Press program following World War II and has been used to build parts for nearly every military aircraft, helicopter, and tracked and combat vehicles from the 1950s until today.

Eric Roegner, president, Alcoa Forgings and Extrusions, said the press offers the ability for Cleveland Works to double its capacity to serve customers in the commercial and defense aerospace markets as well as industrial and energy markets.

Alcoa Cleveland Works manufactures the large aluminium structural die forgings for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter Programme.

The forgings include bulk heads – the primary structural support for the wing and engine that can weigh from 1,800 to 6,000 pounds and range from 10 to 23 feet in length – and wing box parts which serve as an important component of the skeletal structure to the wing.

As part of the celebration, Lockheed Martin showcased its F-35 Lightning II mobile cockpit demonstrator to Alcoa’s guests.