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Prime Minister opens Farnborough International Air Show 2012

David Cameron hails the success of the UK aerospace industry and announces new funding scheme for aerospace engineering qualifications

The Prime Minister has hailed the phenomenal success of the UK aerospace industry and its critical importance to growth and jobs, as the next steps towards exploiting the growth potential of Typhoon were announced, and a £50 million pound contract to build a new simulator for the A400M defence aircraft is to be signed - a move that will benefit both the RAF and UK manufacturing.

On the day that the Farnborough air show opened, in which billions of pounds worth of deals are expected to be signed, the Prime Minister also announced funding for 500 Masters level degree places in aerospace engineering over the next three years. The places will be jointly funded with industry, with Government committing £3m, and will help provide the industry with the next generation of skilled engineers they need.

Typhoon’s growth potential is huge and the four partner nations, Italy, Germany, Spain and the UK have agreed the next steps required to further exploit this. The integration of the METEOR missile, an Electronically Scanned Radar, enhancements of the Defensive Aids System, further development of the air-to-air and air-to-ground capabilities and integration of new weapons would all boost the world-beating capabilities of this fantastic aircraft. This progress is good for industry, export customers and the RAF.

To support the training that operators of the new A400M Atlas military transport aircraft will need, the MOD has placed a contract worth approximately £50m with Airbus Military for its first full flight simulator which will be located at RAF Brize Norton. The A400M simulators are designed and built by Thales Training and Simulation in Crawley, sustaining 50 high-tech UK jobs and skills. The MOD has ordered 22 aircraft to replace the fleet of C-130 Hercules, with the first delivery expected in 2014. 

Prime Minister David Cameron said: 

In a hugely difficult time in the global economy UK aerospace is, quite simply, flying - employing more than 100,000 people, turning over more than £20 billion a year, holding a 17 per cent share of the global market. But there can be absolutely no complacency. International competition gets more fierce by the year. The UK has got to fight for every contract and every opportunity.

That’s why we as a government are doing everything possible to get behind UK aerospace. We’ve established an Aerospace Growth Partnership to make sure that five, ten, twenty years down the line this industry continues to thrive and grow. We’re investing in skills, including 500 Masters level qualifications in aerospace engineering over the next few years. We’re pulling every lever we’ve got to make sure those good, high-skilled jobs come to Britain and stay in Britain.

The further development of Typhoon that we have been working on with our partners is good for the RAF who need this capability, good for our export customers who want it too and brilliant for the British manufacturers and British workers who are going to benefit.

From this Government you will see nothing less than an unstinting, unrelenting, unflagging commitment to making Britain the best place in the world for aerospace businesses to invest, design, manufacture and export.

Business Secretary Vince Cable said:

The UK aerospace sector is a national success story and to ensure we stay ahead of the game we need to attract the brightest and best to the industry. Our new Masters partnership will boost the skills needed for growth. It will enable companies to train up existing employees and get talented new people into the aerospace sector at Masters level.

Minister for Defence Equipment, Support and Technology, Peter Luff said:

I welcome the plans to enhance the future capability of the Typhoon, which will benefit the RAF and other potential buyers. The new A400M simulator will provide our RAF crews with a state of the art, challenging training environment that will support the live flight preparation for Atlas, a uniquely capable transport aircraft.

Notes to editors:

  1. Farnborough International Air Show (FIAS) is the largest show of its kind. In 2010, over 120,000 trade visitors attended, and exhibiting companies announced over US$47Bn of orders. There will be several Coalition Government Ministers attending throughout the week including:
    • Business Secretary Vince Cable
    • Defence Secretary Philip Hammond
    • Transport Secretary Justine Greening
    • Welsh Secretary Cheryl Gillan
    • Science Minister David Willetts
    • Business Minister Mark Prisk
    • Minister for Defence Equipment Peter Luff
    • Defence Minister Gerald Howarth
    • Trade Minister Lord Green
    • Aviation Minister Theresa Villiers
    • The Government and industry will fund 500 Masters level degree places in aerospace engineering over the next 3 years. The students will either be existing company employees or new graduates. The programme will be overseen by the Royal Academy of Engineering and Royal Aeronautical Society. Major UK companies who have already agreed to sponsor the scheme include:
  • EADS/Airbus
  • BAE Systems
  • Spirit Aerosystems (Europe)
  • GKN
  • Rolls-Royce
  • MBDA Missile Systems
  • Bombardier Aerospace Belfast
  • Messier-Bugatti-Dowty (a Safran group company)

The courses will be aligned to the priorities set out in the Strategic Vision document (produced by the Aerospace Growth Partnership), which will be launched at Farnborough on 10 July

  • The Aerospace Growth Partnership (AGP) is jointly chaired by Mark Prisk, Minister of State at the Department for Business, Innovation & Skills (BIS), and Marcus Bryson, CEO of GKN Aerospace and Vice President of ADS. It has been established as a partnership between industry and government to create a vision and strategy for the future of the UK aerospace industry for the next 15 years and beyond. The AGP’s scope is civil aerospace: business and regional jets, advanced turboprops, helicopters and the very largest twin aisle passenger aircraft. It also considers areas where there is dual (civil and military) technology
  • As part of the European collaborative programme to develop and manufacture the new A400M transport aircraft, the UK has ordered 22 aircraft to replace the fleet of C-130 Hercules.  This next generation military transport aircraft has just been officially named Atlas at the Royal International Air Tattoo at RAF Fairford.  The first is contracted to be delivered in 2014
  • Able to carry twice as much as the Hercules, Atlas can transport 32 tonnes of cargo over a range of 4,500 km, providing unprecedented capability to support the UK Armed Forces. It can move up to 116 paratroopers, large armoured vehicles such as Mastiffs as well as vast amounts of humanitarian and disaster relief. The aircraft’s ability to land on semi permanent runways and rough ground mean Atlas can fly its cargo into the centre of operations, supplying tactical forward bases or evacuating causalities or refugees
  • This first A400M simulator will form part of a synthetic training suite for the A400M aircraft that will include two full flight simulators and other equipment to train pilots, crew and engineers. This will be accommodated in a purpose built schoolhouse at Brize Norton. Further work is ongoing with Airbus Military and its training partner, Thales Training and Simulation, to reach an agreement on a Training Service Support Contract for the overall provision of infrastructure and support for A400M training
  • The complete wing (including the flaps) for the A400M made by Airbus Military in Filton, UK. Initially 750 of the TP400 engines are made by Rolls-Royce in the UK and Germany
  • UK’s Typhoon partners are:

    • The Federal Ministry of Defence of the Federal Republic of Germany
    • The Ministry of Defence of the Italian Republic
    • The Ministry of Defence of the Kingdom of Spain
  • The Typhoon partners have agreed the next steps for exploiting potential future capabilities that includes, but is not limited to, integration of the METEOR missile, an E-Scan RADAR, enhancements of the Defensive Aids System, further development of the air-to-air and air-to-ground capabilities and integration of new weapons. 
  • Analysis by the MOD and the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills estimates the Typhoon project directly supports 8,600 jobs. These mainly work at companies such as BAE Systems, Rolls-Royce and Selex Galileo:

    • BAE Systems - it is estimated that for every 10 jobs directly supported by BAE Systems, another 13 are currently created in the supply chain although the official figure for indirectly employed is 40,000.
    • SELEX, a Finmeccanica Company employ almost 3,000 people on the programme at UK sites of Edinburgh and Luton. 
    • Rolls-Royce is involved in the development of the EJ200 turbofan engine, with 500 direct jobs on Typhoon and 3000 in the supply chain

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