The aerospace and space segments are doing relatively well, thanks in particular to the increase in air traffic and space exploration needs. Travel is becoming more accessible in the middle classes in emerging countries and in developed countries; especially thanks to the low cost companies. Due to the increase Demand for Air Travel, Demand for Appliances, Reactors and Associated Components Increases logically.

In parallel, space exploration programs have become less expensive thanks to advances technologies that make it possible to build lighter satellites and therefore less fuel when in orbit. Demand for this type of program has also increased due to of a greater need of the population in communication services and for scientific needs of analysis of the atmosphere of the Earth and of space observation.

This sectorial note covers the following three UK sectors:

– Aeronautics;

– Defense;

– The space.

 General overview of the British aeronautics industry

The British aerospace industry accounts for 17% of global market share with one in 2015 of £ 31.8bn (€ 43 billion). Britain is the largest supplier of aeronautics sector in Europe and second in the world behind the United States. 90% of sales are made for export.

In terms of business profiles, the UK hosts:

– Local leaders: BAE Systems, GKN and Rolls Royce;

– European and world leaders: Airbus, Boeing, Bombardier, Thales, Cobham and Augusta Westland;

– As well as VSEs and SMEs that account for 55% of civil aerospace sales.

Production characteristics

The UK has competitive advantages in the following sectors:

– Design and production of wings for large aircraft;

– Production of reactors;

– The world’s fleet of commercial helicopters; (potential opportunities: 40,000 units per year, worth $ 165bn);

– Assembly of landing gear;

– Creation of advanced systems.

Rolls Royce is the world’s second largest reactor producer and the number of units produced each year creates opportunities for component manufacturers operating in the UK. It also helps to maintain the demand for repair and maintenance. Thus, the country has an important sector Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul (MRO – Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul). In 2015, the sector’s expenditure amounted to £ 1.7bn in R & D, which represents 8% of the total amount R & D expenditure in the UK industrial sector. Local businesses are thus leaders in the maintenance of the reactors. For example, in centers like Nottingham University’s Institute for Aerospace Technology, university researchers focus on new power systems to improve the means of detecting defects.