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Aerospace, Defence, Engineering

Innovation is Key to Growth in the Region

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Innovation is Key to Growth in the Region

Business South is developing a focus on the aerospace and defence sector. The UK aerospace sector is an important part of the economy with approximately £12bn gross value added contribution to GDP and employing more than 150,000 people.

It is estimated that 25 per cent of this is generated in the south east of England. In Hampshire, the sector provides 16,500 jobs and exhibits growth of 6.8 per cent annually.

Some of the leading global aerospace and defence companies are located in Hampshire including; BAE Systems, GE Aviation Systems, Honeywell Aerospace, Meggitt Avionics, Lockheed Martin, Eaton Aerospace, GKN Aerospace, EADS Astrium, Turbomeca, QinetiQ, Boeing, Vector Aerospace, Sodexo Defence Services, Harrods Aviation, AgustaWestland, Thales, Northrop Grumman and Finmeccanica.

Based in Farnborough, QinetiQ is Europe’s largest technology company and one of the world’s finest defence research institutions. The company’s research labs have pioneered a range of technologies including radar and liquid crystal displays, over more than six decades. 

The University of Portsmouth’s  Aerospace Materials  research group specialises in applied research into fatigue and fracture of aerospace materials and components, with industrial collaborators including Rolls Royce, the US Air Force, the MOD, QinetiQ, Astrium and Westland Aerostructures.

The University of Southampton’s Rolls-Royce University Technology Centre (UTC) for Computational Engineering applies modern computational tools, methods and environments to problems in aerospace engineering and related fields. The University’s Airbus Noise Technology Centre (ANTC) works towards meeting the industry's target of cutting perceived aircraft noise in half by 2020.

Dorset also counts aerospace as one of its leading industries. These companies including global and European leaders such as Cobham, Meggitt, BAE Systems, Magellan Aerospace, Honewell, Ultra Electronics and GA Telesis, are supported by an impressive array of local supply businesses.

Rob Watson, Manager- Business Growth, Aerospace & Defence sector at Hampshire County Council, said:" Innovation is the driving force within the aerospace and defence sector in our region and it is the small to medium size companies who are critical to the success of the big players."

Vector Aerospace are an industry-leading provider of maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) services for fixed- and rotary-wing aircraft operators around the globe, offering responsive, high quality and value-for-money support for engines, airframes and components. Globally they have 21 facilities, employing 2,300 people, with 1,000 of those located in the UK. 

The UK business generates revenue in excess of £100m per year from its sites located in Gosport in Hampshire and Perth in Scotland. The Gosport site offers a full range of helicopter maintenance capability and also aero engine repair and overhaul.

 “Vector Aerospace wanted to be part of Business South as it makes sound commercial sense.  Having the ability to network and potentially work with other businesses in the Solent region really appealed to us as an organisation as well as being able to support the HR Forum."

Kerry Howard, UK HR Director, Vector Aerospace Kerry Howard, UK HR Director, Vector Aerospace



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