Airbus set to build new helicopters at British site

Airbus is promising Britain’s first new helicopter manufacturing facility in a long time, bringing a whole bunch of latest jobs and billions of kilos of exports if the Ministry of Defence chooses it to construct a brand new era of helicopters to exchange the UK’s ageing fleet of Pumas.

The European aerospace firm is competing with the Italian group Leonardo, previously AgustaWestland, and the American multinational Lockheed Martin to win a £1.1 billion deal to construct at the very least 25 Puma replacements.

Airbus is providing the MoD a imaginative and prescient of a multi-decade defence industrial technique. It says that if it wins the tender it should construct a brand new helicopter manufacturing line at Broughton, north Wales, the place it makes wings for all Airbus industrial plane sorts. Broughton is the most important centre for the 12,000 folks which might be employed by Airbus UK throughout the aerospace, defence and house sectors.

The group can also be promising that Broughton would turn out to be the only real Airbus web site for manufacturing of H175M navy helicopters world wide, taking work away from its present helicopter manufacturing web site at Marignane within the south of France.

Airbus is placing ahead the H175M, able to flying 19 personnel with a 600-mile and six-hour vary.

On the Paris Air Present in the present day Airbus will parade a Union Jack-emblazoned navy model of its H175 helicopter, which is used within the British civil market by the oil and gasoline trade, corporates, rich non-public people and search and rescue.

Leonardo is pitching to construct its AW149 to exchange the Puma at its Yeovil manufacturing facility. Lockheed Martin, one of many world’s largest aerospace corporations, is providing its Black Hawk helicopter, a mainstay of the American navy, but it surely has made no dedication to assemble them within the UK.

The delayed tendering course of might transfer to most popular bidder standing as early because the DSEI arms truthful in London in September.

Airbus says that there’s demand for 500 mid-sized navy assist helicopters throughout Europe, the Center East and Far East with nations equivalent to Norway on the head of the queue.

Lenny Brown, head of Airbus UK helicopters, stated that that represented an export market that could possibly be price between £13 billion and £20 billion to Britain. “We are going to construct a manufacturing line in Broughton, solely construct the H175M in Broughton and solely export the H175M from Broughton,” he stated.

In a uncommon instance of co-operation between two of the giants of world aerospace, Airbus is co-bidding with Boeing, which can present plane upkeep and crew coaching for the H175M.

Final 12 months Guillaume Faury, chief govt of Airbus, supplied a lift to the UK’s aerospace trade by saying that the enterprise had “turned the web page” on its opposition to Brexit and deliberate to maintain wing manufacturing in Wales. There had been fears that it might pull out of Britain.

Airbus will face stiff competitors from Leonardo, which employs 3,000 folks in Yeovil. It has constructed and helps greater than 100 AW101 Merlin and AW159 Wildcat helicopters for the UK navy and says that Yeovil has export orders for each plane with unnamed Center Japanese and North African clients.

Leonardo is providing its AW149, manufactured in Italy and operational or on order with Egypt, Thailand and Poland. Like Airbus it says that world demand for such navy helicopters is excessive.

With its incumbency within the UK, Leonardo claims to be the low-cost, low-risk, rapid-deliverability possibility for the MoD. Adam Clarke, managing director of Leonardo Helicopters UK, stated: “The AW149 shall be manufactured in and exported from the UK. We’re dedicated to delivering financial and societal advantages to the UK.”

Back To Top