At the Zhuhai Air Show GKN Aerospace, COMAC subsidiary SAMC (Shanghai Aircraft Manufacturing Company) and AVIC International (Aviation Industry Corporation of China) have today signed a Framework Agreement to establish a joint venture for aerostructures manufacturing in China. This Framework Agreement enshrines the progress made by the parties since signing an MOU in September 2017 and represents a significant milestone in their co-operation together.
The joint venture is scheduled to begin production Q4 2021 in a new state-of-the-art facility. Locations are currently being evaluated. The joint venture will manufacture products for the civil aerospace market. This development puts the partners at the heart of the Asian aerospace market which is a key growth market for the future. The new joint venture will open up new business opportunities for GKN Aerospace’s industry-leading aerostructures business and its partners.
GKN Aerospace and its partners will, as a result of the joint venture, be able to offer its customers technologically-advanced aerostructures, both metallic and composite, that have a proven record in the global market. After the start-up period the scope of the joint venture will be extended to include design and development capability.
The expansion to Asia is an important part of GKN Aerospace’s long-term growth strategy and global operating model. This summer GKN Aerospace announced a new wiring systems plant in Pune, India and in October GKN Aerospace officially opened a new aero-engine repair and research plant in Johor Malaysia. GKN Aerospace now operates seven facilities in Asia, delivering wiring systems, transparencies and services in China, India, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand and Turkey.
With this Chinese joint venture, GKN Aerospace’s business will have its first aerostructures venture in the Asian-Pacific region. The establishment of the joint venture is subject to the fulfilment of certain conditions including but not limited to approvals by the relevant authorities.
John Pritchard, CEO Aerostructures and Systems Europe and Asia said: “We are proud to extend our footprint in China by working together with our committed partners COMAC, SAMC and AVIC. We foresee that the combination of our joint dedicated teams, technology leadership and extensive aerospace experience will lead to exciting growth opportunities. This will be the first aerostructures venture for GKN Aerospace in China. It strengthens our enduring partnership and commitment with this country. We need to be close to our customers and partners and support the solid growth of the aerospace industry in China.”