With Brexit, UK aerospace faces massive funding shortfalls

Brexit Blog

Between 2016 and 2020 the European Union (EU) plans to invest €4.7 billion in aerospace research and operational support to defence and civil aeronautical programmes throughout the EU. PMI- Media’s latest market study Unforeseen consequences – Brexit and the UK’s aerospace industryavailable free, examines the consequences to the UK’s aerospace and defence industrial base of not being able to access this funding, while the UK’s industry has to cope with the complexities and uncertainties of a post-EU market.

The gravest threats come from the possibilities of the UK exiting the Galileo GNSS programme, the consequences of major UK companies such as Rolls-Royce and GKN Aerospace having to give up lead positions in the European Commission’s Clean Sky research programme and UK companies having to remove themselves from the SESAR programme as airlines are about to invest in $20 billion of new SESAR-compliant airborne systems.

The new report takes a detailed look at the tough decisions facing UK government and industry as they renegotiate their roles in a wide range of long-term, EU-financed aerospace support programmes. It also examines which major aircraft programme supply chains could be most impacted. The effect of Brexit won’t just be one way. More flexibility on labour costs, access to new trade agreements and more flexible forms of funding will have beneficial consequences to many UK companies. But the UK government will have its job cut out to find new ways to integrate UK aerospace into Clean Sky, SESAR and the European Space Agency’s EU programmes or face a massive loss in funding and support to programmes of strategic interest to the UK.

More detailed information on the impact of Brexit on the UK will be made available in another study, a 280-page Threats and opportunities to the UK’s aerospace industry of Brexit which will provide unique insight and analysis on how leaving the EU will impact individual companies. View it here. This report will be made available on 26th September 2016 and customers will also be given two free updates to the report – to be published in November 2016 and March 2017 – as companies evolve their strategies and markets change.

View or download a sample of the report here

Prospects for a Chinese wide-body airliner


Will Russia and China announce the launch of a new wide body airliner in the new year? China seems committed to taking on Airbus and Boeing with an aircraft which will be almost competitive with Airbus’ A350 and Boeing’s 787 sometime in the middle of the next decade but, presumably, a great deal cheaper to buy, operate and support. That’s just ten years from now. Our new report Future aircraft programmes: timelines and competitive opportunities for aerospace suppliers The Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China (COMAC) suggests it will be a really tough call. They will still have to rely on Western suppliers to provide integrator support in areas such as electrical systems and avionics if they are to get anywhere near the level of competitiveness of their rivals. There will be plenty of opportunities for aerospace suppliers to take key roles on the project – if it goes ahead – and we highlight some of those. Could China produce a competitive product? Yes – just.

View or download a sample of the report here

Aviation supply chain intelligence news – May 2015

Our latest update to the PMI Media Limited’s Aviation Supply Chain Intelligence database features two new aircraft types, the Antonov AN-178 and Dassault Falcon 8X

The Antonov AN-178 supply chain is notable for the appearance of a Saudi supplier, Taqnia, and China’s A-Star Science and Technology Company. In May Antonov the King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology (KACST) of Saudia Arabia announced the two organisations would jointly develop and build a new version of the AN-32 passenger and cargo aircraft, with Pratt & Whitney engines and Honeywell avionics. Over the last year Antonov has been seeking partners in India, China and Saudi Arabia to help finance and develop its production line of civil and military aircraft:  the An-148/An-158 range of regional passenger aircraft, the AN-178 transport – a military cargo version of the AN-148 – and the AN-32, AN-70 and AN-124 cargo aircraft.

In other developments, as part of the F-X2 partnership agreement, in which Saab will supply the Gripen to Brazil, Embraer will have a leading role in the overall performance of the programme. Embraer will also undertake an extensive share of work in the production and delivery of both the single and two-seat versions of the Gripen NG. Embraer will be responsible for extensive work packages in systems development, integration, flight test, final assembly and aircraft deliveries. Embraer will also participate in the coordination of all development and production activities in Brazil. Furthermore, Embraer and Saab will be jointly responsible for the complete development of the two-seat version of the Gripen NG. Embraer and Saab will build an Engineering Centre at Embraer’s industrial plant in Gavião Peixoto, in the state of São Paulo, to support operations of the Gripen NG fighters with the Brazilian Air Force. The implementation of the partnership for joint programme management between Saab and Embraer is subject to the F-X2 contracts between Saab and COMAER (Brazilian Air Force Command) becoming effective.

In terms of new manufacturing and assembly technologies, Pratt & Whitney has built its first PurePower® engine on its new automated horizontal assembly lines in Middletown, Connecticut, and West Palm Beach, Florida. Pratt & Whitney introduced the overhead-automated horizontal moving assembly lines for jet engines to prepare for production of its PurePower engine family, which has garnered more than 6,300 orders, including options by mid-2015. The horizontal assembly line is designed to boost the ergonomic benefits for the assembly teams working on the engines. The mechanic can adjust the engine up and down to their ideal work height, and can rotate the engine to help with difficult to reach areas. The new line is also safer because ladders and platforms have been fully eliminated, and there is no perching under the engines, bending, stooping and climbing. Pratt & Whitney has also installed a horizontal assembly line in the Mirabel Aerospace Center, Quebec, Canada.

We have also updated the following aircraft programmes with new supplier contracts:

  • Airbus A330 neo – Fokker, Korean Air
  • Bell V-22 – Spincraft
  • Boeing 737NG, Max and P-8 – Kaman (via Zodiac)
  • Boeing 787-9 – Quatro Composites, Ducommun (on the Rolls-Royce Trent 1000)
  • Bombardier CSeries – Pratt & Whitney
  • Cessna Citation X+ – CPI Aerostructures
  • Dassault Falcon 5X – Rockwell Collins
  • Embraer C-390 – Jabil Do Brasil
  • Eurofighter Typhoon – Jenoptik
  • Gulfstream G500/600 – GKN, Ducommun
  • Hawker Beechcraft King Air 350i, 250 and C90GTx – Rockwell Collins
  • Lockheed Martin F-35 – Splunk, Kopin Corporation (via Rockwell Collins), Kongsberg
  • Saab JAS39 Gripen – a partnership contract between Saab and Embraer for the F-X2, Finmeccanica Selex

In the engine library we have added a new engine, the PW307D and updated the PW1000G and Trent 1000 entries.