The contracts from top players affirm confidence in Mubadala’s capabilities and invigorate its vision to make Abu Dhabi an aerospace hub for global requirements
Abu Dhabi has strengthened its position as a centre of aerospace manufacturing with contracts won from Boeing and Airbus for plane parts and plans to build aero-engine components for Rolls-Royce.
Strata Manufacturing, a unit of Abu Dhabi investment firm Mubadala, has been awarded a multi-year contract by Boeing to manufacture vertical fins for the 787 Dreamliner family, further expanding its role as a direct supplier of primary aerostructure components to Boeing commercial airplanes programmes.
The vertical fins will be manufactured by Strata at its Nibras Al Ain Aerospace Park in Abu Dhabi.
Badr Al Olama, chief executive officer, Strata said: “The announcement today is a reflection of the long-standing relationship between Strata and Boeing and is testament to the trust that one of the world’s largest aerospace companies has placed in its partnership with Strata. The expansion of our relationship with Boeing further demonstrates our ongoing commitment to developing a global aerospace manufacturing hub in Nibras – the Al Ain Aerospace Park.”
This award is the latest in a series of agreements signed by Boeing and Mubadala since 2009 that advances the mutually beneficial collaboration between both parties.
“This contract reflects significant commitment and investment by UAE and Mubadala leaders to expand their aerospace manufacturing capabilities and support their long-term economic vision,” said Ray Conner, president and CEO, Boeing Commercial Airplanes. “For nearly a decade, Boeing and Mubadala have worked closely to expand the global supply of aerospace composites and meet Boeing requirements for quality and affordability. We’re proud to award this important work package for the Dreamliner to Strata.”
This announcement is also another significant step towards meeting commitments that Boeing and Mubadala made in 2013, including the supply of up to $2.5 billion in advanced composites and aerostructures to Boeing commercial programmes.
Strata is already Boeing’s first direct composites supplier in the Arab world and is currently delivering 777 empennage ribs and 787 vertical fin ribs.
European plane maker Airbus has granted Strata two contracts totally worth $1 billion to manufacture additional composite components and complete major assemblies.
Strata will become a source for the Airbus A320 Horizontal Tail Plane (HTP) and A350-900 Inboard Flaps (IBF).
The Airbus A320 HTP is a primary part of the aerostructure and is located on the empennage of the aircraft. Its purpose is to provide stability and control.
The IBFs that Strata will deliver for the Airbus A350-900 wings will extend over the life of Airbus’ most technologically advanced aircraft to date.
Inboard flaps are mounted on the trailing edge of the wing to increase the surface of the wing during takeoff and landing, and improve stability during flight.
The flaps are mounted on the trailing edge of the wing to increase the surface of the wing during takeoff and landing, and improve stability during flight. Mimicking nature, A350 XWB wings are fitted with unique high-lift devices adapting the wing shape during the flight for maximum aerodynamic efficiency.
Commenting on the win, Al Olama said: “We are proud of our longstanding partnership with Airbus, and are privileged to be manufacturing components on Airbus’ A330, A350 and A380 aircraft.”
Building on the latest contracts and its ties with Airbus, Al Olama said Strata was confident it would strengthen is competitiveness, grow its national workforce and play a key role in Abu Dhabi’s positioning as a global aerospace hub.
The A350-900 is built with 53 per cent of light composite materials to help reduce fuel consumption and operating costs, improve passenger comfort and lower the environmental impact of air travel.
Strata will manufacture composite components, perform assembly of the components and manage its supply chain from its world-class facility in the Nibras Al Ain Aerospace Park, where it is expanding its capabilities to meet the growing demands of world-leading aircraft manufacturers.
THE ROLLS-ROYCE TIE-UP
Rolls-Royce and Mubadala have confirmed plans for a manufacturing facility that will produce aero-engine components.
Mubadala will open a new manufacturing centre that will deliver parts for the Trent engine family, including the Rolls-Royce Trent XWB. This new manufacturing centre will complement the existing disc manufacturing investment that Rolls-Royce has previously made in Washington, UK and Crosspointe, US.
The Trent XWB is the world’s most efficient aero-engine that powers the Airbus A350 XWB. The Middle East region is forecast to have one of the world’s largest concentrations of Trent XWB engines with more than 20 per cent of the 1,600 sold to date.
The companies also announced further details of a new Approved Maintenance Centre (AMC) in the UAE.
Rolls-Royce will develop a competitive, capable and flexible Trent Service Network to support the growing number of Trent engines that will enter service as Rolls-Royce increases its installed base to more than 50 per cent of the widebody passenger market. This will be the second AMC in which Rolls-Royce does not hold an equity stake. The first, Delta TechOps, was announced in October 2015.
The Middle East region is forecast to have one of the world’s largest concentrations of Trent XWB engines with more than 20 per cent of the 1,600 sold to date, due to be operated by airlines in the region, including 62 A350s to be operated by Abu Dhabi-based Etihad Airways.
Rolls-Royce is also creating a world-class, competitive global supply chain within growth regions and key strategic markets and which gives the flexibility required as Rolls-Royce increases engine production.
Homaid Al Shimmari, Mubadala, chief executive officer, aerospace & engineering Services, said: “The creation of a new Approved Maintenance Centre and an engine component manufacturing facility are both key milestones in the creation of a leading global aerospace hub in Abu Dhabi, further driving economic diversification.”
Eric Schulz, Rolls-Royce president for civil aerospace, said: “The creation of a new Trent XWB Approved Maintenance Centre, alongside manufacturing capability in the UAE, further demonstrates our commitment to this region, which is now so critical to the growth of our business.”
The AMC will service up to 150 engines a year in a new facility located at the Nibras Al Ain Aerospace Park, which is expected to be operational in 2021.