Cameron: Industry Growth Plan in the Offing for Defense Industry
Britain’s defense sector may get the boost of an industry growth plan similar to the scheme being used in a partnership between aerospace manufacturers and government, Prime Minister David Cameron hinted in a speech opening the Farnborough International Airshow July 9.
Cameron’s message that a defense industry growth plan might be in the offing was given in a closed-door speech to a few dozen senior executives and officials.
Industry and the government are 18 months into an aerospace growth plan process aimed at smoothing the path for the industry in its efforts to compete in the increasingly competitive global market.
Over 80 senior industry executives and a large number of government officials from the Business Department are working on producing by next year key findings and a road map on the way forward for the aerospace industry.
Britain’s aerospace industry already produces 20 billion pounds in revenues and holds 17 percent of the global market.
Cameron suggested the aerospace growth partnership might be a model for a similar plan for defense
The prime minister also announced a string of initiatives aimed at improving the competitiveness of Britain’s aerospace and defense sector.
Boosts to the skills base, the go-ahead for an active electronically scanned array radar and missile upgrades for Typhoon, and a 50 million pound investment in a simulator and other training aides for the A400M airlifter scheduled to enter service in mid-decade were announced by Cameron.
“The further development of Typhoon that we have been working on with our partners is good for the [Royal Air Force] who need this capability, good for our export customers who want it too and brilliant for the British manufacturers,” he said.
News of the A400M training package follows the British announcement July 6 at the Royal International Air Tattoo that the Royal Air Force were to call their aircraft the Atlas, rather than the Grizzly, the name given the machine by its maker Airbus Military.
The RAF aircraft immediately earned itself the nickname of the “At Last,” a reference to the late running of the program.
Unfortunately, Airbus had to announce last week that the aircraft had encountered a new problem, which meant it wouldn’t being flying at the show even though the machine is continuing its test program.