UK's aerospace industry risks being lost by default – Financial Times

Sir, The Ministry of Defence may claim that BAE Systems’ decision to rationalise its aerospace division is “nothing to do with government policy”, but Brexit has fundamentally changed the assumptions that underpin British defence procurement (“BAE cuts raise questions over UK defence capacity”, October 11).

Since the 1960s, Britain has preferred not to develop combat aircraft independently and has instead pursued a twin-track strategy of off-the-shelf procurement and European collaboration. The latter component of this resulted in the Tornado and Typhoon aircraft — and ensured a continuing role for UK’s aerospace industry. This role has been eliminated by the Franco-German decision to develop a new combat aircraft without the UK and, clearly, is unlikely to return following Brexit.

The British government must now decide whether it accepts this new reality or if it is going to create an alternative strategy for the post-Brexit British defence industry that includes a role for independent production. Given the modest UK defence budget, it seems likely that any new defence industrial strategy could only be funded by a reduction in Britain’s wider defence commitments and aspirations to a global military role.

Without this choice being articulated, the risk is that the UK aerospace industry’s future is lost by default.

Edward Longinotti
Stony Stratford, Milton Keynes, UK

Read More Here...

This entry was posted in Aerospace News. Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post. Trackbacks are closed, but you can post a comment.