Acquisitions, Mergers & PartnershipsAerospace AM

ArianeGroup extends partnership with GKN Aerospace

The agreement covers the industrialization period of laser-welded technology and additively manufactured structures for the next phase of Ariane 6 turbines and Vulcain nozzles

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GKN Aerospace has signed a contract with ArianeGroup to supply the next phase of Ariane 6 turbines and Vulcain nozzles. The contract includes the manufacturing and supply of units for the next 14 Ariane 6 launchers – to be produced from now until 2025, and covers the industrialization period of breakthrough laser-welded technology and additively manufactured structures.

GKN Aerospace, at its Trollhättan site in Sweden, is currently focused on industrializing and integrating novel, innovative technology into its Ariane 6 products. This includes the nozzle channel wall, which will include all-new technologies in a flight application. The design has been continuously improved over time, and during the transition batch process, it will be further matured in GKN Aerospace’s state-of-the-art center of excellence. This is essential to prepare for increased production in the next phase of launcher exploitation.

ArianeGroup extends partnership with GKN Aerospace for the next phase of Ariane 6 turbines and Vulcain nozzles. GKN Aerospace’s space business unit, in Trollhättan, has been active in the Ariane program from its inception in 1974 – having contributed to the program at every stage from initial research and development through to serial production. To date, GKN Aerospace has made over 1,000 combustion chambers and nozzles, as well as over 250 turbines, for the Ariane rocket.

“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 program,” said Martin Velander, Launcher Engines Program Director at GKN Aerospace. “It reinforces that Swedish participation is key to the future of the launcher and for the future of European space exploration.”

“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,” said Stephane Nogatchewsky, Head of Procurement of ArianeGroup. “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, unifying European actors is paramount to ensure further A6 industrial robustness, competitiveness, and preserve European autonomous access to space.”

The Ariane 6 program is the only European asset that allows independent access to space for strategic missions. It also provides the flexibility to launch both heavy and light payloads to a wide range of orbits for applications such as Earth observation, telecommunication, meteorology, science, and navigation.

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