x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 18 January 2018

Mubadala signs aerospace partnership

The Italian aerospace company Finmeccanica will supply technology. Components for civilian aircraft will be made in Abu Dhabi.

Mubadala Development, the Government's investment arm, has signed a deal to form a partnership with the Italian aerospace company Finmeccanica to build components for civilian aircraft. Alenia Aeronautica, a subsidiary of Finmeccanica, will supply technology, technical assistance and specialised training while providing support to develop the manufacturing processes needed for international industrial certifications.

"Activities will begin this year and are expected to reach capacity by 2011," Mubadala and Finmeccanica said in a joint statement yesterday. Finmeccanica is the second-largest industrial group - and the largest hi-tech industrial group - based in Italy. The company operates in several fields including aerospace, defence and security. Under the partnership, the aerospace components including outboard flaps and horizontal and vertical stabilisers, will be made at a composites plant run by Mubadala in Abu Dhabi.

This is the second major composites deal by Mubadala with a European industry player in three months. In July, following the announcement of the plant, a deal with EADS worth US$1 billion (Dh3.67bn) was reached to manufacture spoilers and flap-track fairings. This is also a further sign that economic power in the sector is shifting towards the Gulf, as western manufacturers seek funds to develop lightweight, fuel-saving aeroplanes.

"Mubadala's commercial strategy to evolve the emirate of Abu Dhabi's existing aerospace industry into a global aerospace hub is progressing quickly," said Waleed al Mokarrab al Muhairi, the chief operating officer at Mubadala. "Technology and innovation are strong qualities that Finmeccanica brings to our partnership, and Alenia Aeronautica has built some of the most sophisticated aircraft in the world," he said. "Manufacturing is a key component of our aerospace portfolio and their expertise fits well with our plans."

Following the plant's completion, Mubadala will have invested $500 million in the facility. business@thenational.ae * with Reuters