Flying start for Farnborough air show

Posted on 10 Jul 2012 by Chris Flynn

The Farnborough air show began with a flurry of new contracts yesterday, with multiple announcements made by several large companies.

It was announced that the UK, Italy, Spain and Germany have agreed the next steps to exploit the growth of the Typhoon fighter with the integration of the meteor missile, 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.

Analysis by the MoD and BIS estimates that the Typhoon project already directly supports 8,600 jobs.

A £50m contract between the MoD and Airbus Military to build a new simulator for the A400M defence aircraft was also announced at the show.

Built by Thales Training and Simulation in Crawley, West Sussex, the simulator is to be based at RAF Brize Norton and 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.

Prime Minister David Cameron attended the air show and hailed the success of the UK aerospace industry, which has an annual turnover of more than £20bn and holds a 17% share of the global market.

The PM announced that the Government will commit £3m to fund 500 masters degree places in aerospace engineering over the next three years.

The places will be jointly funded by industry and the Royal Academy of Engineering, and Royal Aeronautical Society will oversee the programme.

Mr Cameron said: “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.”