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GKN Aerospace and ArianeGroup Extend Partnership on Ariane 6 Rocket Engine Subsystems

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Ariane 6 Rocket Engine Subsystems
Ariane 6 Rocket Engine Subsystems/Source: GKN Aerospace

GKN Aerospace, British multinational automotive and aerospace components, has agreed to supply the next phase of Ariane 6 Rocket Engine Subsystems like turbines and Vulcain nozzles to ArianeGroup, a joint venture between Airbus and Safran. The contract calls for the production and supply of units for the next 14 Ariane 6 launchers, which will be manufactured from now until 2025.

GKN Aerospace is currently focused on industrialising and integrating novel, innovative technology into its Ariane 6 products at its Trollhättan site in Sweden. This includes the nozzle channel wall, which will incorporate completely new technologies in a flight application.

The design has been continuously improved over time, and it will be further matured in GKN Aerospace’s cutting-edge centre of excellence during the transition batch process. This is critical in order to prepare for increased production during the next phase of launcher operation.

Ariane 6 Rocket Engine Subsystems

GKN Aerospace’s space business unit in Trollhättan has been involved in the Ariane programme since its inception in 1974, contributing to it at all stages, from initial research and development to serial production. GKN Aerospace has produced over 1,000 combustion chambers and nozzles for the Ariane rocket, as well as over 250 turbines.

“Signing this contract is an important step ahead, not only for GKN Aerospace and the launcher activities in Sweden, but for the entire Ariane 6 programme. It reinforces that Swedish participation is key to the future of the launcher and for the future of European space exploration.”

– Martin Velander, GKN Aerospace Launcher Engines Program Director

Stephane Nogatchewsky, Head of Procurement of ArianeGroup, said,“Following the signature of the exploitation contracts with Sabca, Airbus Spain, Europropulsion, Avio and MTAerospace, this contract with GKN Aerospace is a new and key step towards a strong Ariane 6 European team.”

Nogatchewsky added, “While the inaugural flight of Ariane 6 is getting closer and the industrial ramp up is intensifying, this collaboration is a positive and critical milestone for the future of Ariane 6 operations. Also, unifiying European actors is paramount to ensure further A6 industrial robustness, competitiveness and preserve European autonomous access to space.”

The Ariane 6 programme is Europe’s only asset that provides independent access to space for strategic missions. It also allows for the launch of both heavy and light payloads into a variety of orbits for applications such as Earth observation, telecommunication, meteorology, science, and navigation.

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