A co-operation agreement signed at Asco’s headquarters in Zaventem, Flanders, will explore wide-ranging proposals in areas such as additive layer manufacturing, composite materials and processes and other areas of advanced manufacturing and engineering technology. The formal agreement is part of the Eurofighter industrial offer to Belgium.
The two companies will also explore potential work on the Eurofighter Typhoon programme, including airframe manufacturing and assemblies.
The signings took place in the presence of the UK’s Minister for Defence Procurement, Harriett Baldwin MP. During a visit to Asco, the Minister outlined the UK Government’s unique and comprehensive European offer to Belgium, supported by the Eurofighter nations – Germany, Italy and Spain.
The agreement is part of a substantial Eurofighter industrial offer to provide long-term, sustainable industrial opportunities to Belgium, which include the establishment of two National Innovation Centres, should Belgium select Eurofighter Typhoon to replace its existing F-16 fleet. It is envisaged Asco would join BAE Systems in becoming a founder member of the centres and help develop their scope of work.
Anthony Gregory, Campaign Director for Belgium at BAE Systems, said: “We are delighted to sign this agreement with Asco and we are looking forward to further developing the relationship between our two companies. As part of our European industrial offer to Belgium, the Eurofighter nations and partner companies are fully committed to supporting the Essential Security Interests identified by Belgium, including advanced manufacturing. Working together with leading partners such as Asco, our offer will help further support and develop Belgium’s already outstanding capabilities in the defence and aerospace sector.”
Laurent Canoen, Chief Commercial Officer at Asco Industries, said: “We are excited about the opportunities this collaboration with BAE Systems could bring and we look forward to working together to achieve the aim of our agreement - the development of advanced future technologies and capabilities. As a company, we already work closely in the commercial aircraft sector with Airbus and Leonardo, and we are now committed to further developing our relationship with the different partners in the Eurofighter programme.”
The agreement comes after BAE Systems, Airbus Defence & Space, Leonardo and MBDA signed an agreement to support the establishment of the national centres in Brussels on October 26. It commits all the partner companies to supporting the centres, one in Flanders and one in Wallonia, if Eurofighter Typhoon is selected by Belgium.
The two centres would focus on advanced manufacturing and additive layer manufacture, with partner companies investing together with Belgian industry in the development of research agendas, specifically targeted at the future technology requirements of the two sectors.
BAE Systems is supporting the UK Government in offering the Eurofighter Typhoon as an advanced swing-role, multi-role combat aircraft solution to replace Belgium’s existing fleet of 54 F-16 aircraft.