Category: Industry News, Manufacturing and Engineering, BAE Systems, technology media telecoms
BAE Systems plc and Reaction Engines Limited (‘Reaction Engines’) have announced a strategic investment by BAE Systems and a working collaboration to accelerate Reaction Engines’ development of SABRE™ – a new aerospace engine class that combines both jet and rocket technologies.
SABRE (Synergetic Air-Breathing Rocket Engine) is a new class of aerospace engine designed to enable aircraft to operate from standstill on the runway to speeds of up to 4,500 mph in the atmosphere – over five times the speed of sound. SABRE can then transition to a rocket mode of operation, allowing spaceflight at speeds up to orbital velocity, equivalent to twenty five times the speed of sound. The technology would allow the launch of satellites into space at a fraction of the current cost and allow passengers to fly anywhere on Earth in under four hours.
BAE Systems will invest £20.6 million in Reaction Engines to acquire 20 per cent of its share capital and also enter into a working partner relationship. The working partnership will draw on BAE Systems’ extensive aerospace technology development and project management expertise and will provide Reaction Engines with access to critical industrial, technical and capital resources to progress towards the demonstration of a ground based engine – a key milestone in the development of the technology.
The UK Government is expected to confirm grant funding of £60 million to further SABRE’s development towards a ground based test engine and to investigate its applications for space access vehicles. Together with BAE Systems’ investment, this significant injection of capital will support Reaction Engines’ transition from a successful research phase into development and testing of the engine.
Mark Thomas, Managing Director, Reaction Engines Limited said:
“BAE Systems brings industry leading capabilities in programme delivery and wider engineering systems integration that will accelerate the development of SABRE as a new engine class and its vehicle applications.”
Nigel Whitehead, Group Managing Director, Programmes & Support, BAE Systems said:
“Reaction Engines is a highly innovative UK company and our collaboration gives BAE Systems a strategic interest in a breakthrough air and space technology with significant future potential. Our partnership with Reaction Engines is part of our sustained commitment to investing in and developing prospective emerging technologies. BAE Systems’ considerable engineering and development expertise will help support the delivery of the first demonstrator for the SABRE engine.”
Jo Johnson MP, Minister for Universities and Science said:
“This investment by BAE Systems reflects the strength of British engineering and technology and our ambitions as a leading space nation. I am sure that this partnership will strengthen both organisations - helping to create more jobs in the UK’s growing space sector and ultimately to make the SABRE engine a reality.”
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