BAE Systems becomes Manufacturing Technology Centre’s latest tier one member

BAE Systems, the global defence and aerospace leader, has become the latest member of the pioneering Manufacturing Technology Centre in Coventry.

The air sector arm of BAE Systems – Military Air and Information based in locations across the UK – has joined the Coventry-based MTC as a prestigious Tier One member.

The company was officially welcomed to the MTC family by the centre’s chief executive Dr Clive Hickman, and BAE Systems engineers are already at work on projects at the centre.

Andrew Schofield, head of manufacturing and materials engineering for BAE Systems, Military Air and Information, said the company was impressed by the MTC’s approach to technology and innovation, its close working relationships with major universities and the capabilities of its engineers and technicians.

“Becoming a Tier One member of the MTC was a natural choice for BAE Systems and one which complements our involvement with other centres within the High Value Manufacturing Catapult. This helps us focus on specific areas of development needed to support both our current and future products,” he said.

The manufacturing division of BAE Systems Military Air and Information (MAI) is based primarily at Warton and Samlesbury in Lancashire and is responsible for the design and manufacture of fixed wing military aircraft and training aircraft and is involved in the production of the Typhoon fighter, the F35-Lightning II and the Hawk advanced jet training aircraft.

MAI customers include the Royal Air Force, the Royal Saudi Air Force, the US Navy and the Indian Air Force.

Clive Hickman said he was delighted that a company with the prestige and reputation of BAE Systems had become a member of the MTC.

“We look forward to a rewarding relationship with the air sector arm of BAE Systems.  The MTC is a young and flexible organisation which is proving to be of enormous benefit to our members, as are the impressive capabilities of our engineers, technicians and support staff. We have already begun working on projects with BAE Systems which are delivering results,” he said.

The Manufacturing Technology Centre opened in 2011 and has already achieved most of its 2020 targets. It is a partnership between some of the UK’s major global manufacturers and three forward-thinking universities: Birmingham, Nottingham and Loughborough as well as TWI Ltd, the operating division of The Welding Institute.

The MTC aims to provide a competitive environment to bridge the gap between university-based research and the development of innovative manufacturing solutions, in line with the Government’s manufacturing strategy.

The MTC is one of seven centres across the UK which form the High Value Manufacturing Catapult, established by Government in 2011 to provide a stimulus for British manufacturing.

Clive Hickman said the centre was established to prove innovative manufacturing processes and technologies in an agile environment in partnership with industry, academia and other institutions.

“The MTC provides a high quality environment for the development and demonstration of new technologies on an industrial scale, providing a unique opportunity for manufacturers to develop new and innovative processes and technologies in a low risk environment,” he said.

He added, “Our incredible growth from a standing start is based on work generated by our members who have already shown faith in us to deliver new processes for them, as well the support of our research partners, the commitment of MTC employees and the support of the UK Government. We have developed a strong aerospace, defence, automotive and ICT expertise and we are active in several sectors.”