COMAC subsidiary SAMC (Shanghai Aircraft Manufacturing Company), AVIC Supply and GKN Aerospace have signed a joint venture (JV) agreement for the manufacture of Composite and Metallic Aerostructures in Jingjiang, Jiangsu Province, China.
Image courtesy GKN Aerospace
This represents a significant milestone in GKN Aerospace’s long-stated ambition to grow within the commercial aerospace market within China.
The state-of-the-art, 80,000m2 facility in Jingjiang will be GKN Aerospace’s first aerostructures JV in China. It will offer COMAC, AVIC and Western customers the opportunity to access an important local supply of advanced aerostructures in the country. The JV builds on COMAC, AVIC and GKN Aerospace’s proven track record in the global commercial aviation industry. Production is scheduled to begin in Q4 2021 and, by the mid-2020s, the workforce is expected to grow to 1,000 people.
In addition to the JV facility, GKN Aerospace is in final preparations to open (April 2021) a separate 20,000 m2 site in Jingjiang, focusing on the manufacture of transparencies for the commercial market.
Both endeavours will help meet China’s national industrial strategy of 'made in China 2025'.
John Pritchard, President Civil Aerospace at GKN Aerospace said: “The establishment of the first aerostructures JV and the upcoming opening of the transparencies facility in Jingjiang, Jiangsu Province, China are exciting milestones. We are proud to extend our footprint in China by working together with our committed partners COMAC, SAMC and AVIC Supply. The collaboration with the local authorities and support of the regional government has been vital. I am sure the combination of our dedicated teams, technology leadership and extensive aerospace experience will lead to exciting growth opportunities. We are excited to be part of the growth of the commercial aerospace industry in China.”
GKN Aerospace has a strong three-continent footprint, supporting customers in the Americas, Europe and in Asia. In recent years, growth in Asia has included opening a new wiring systems plant in Pune, India in Q4 2019, as well as unveiling a new aero-engine repair and research plant in Johor, Malaysia, in October 2018. With two new sites in China, GKN Aerospace will be delivering aerostructures, wiring systems and transparencies for the commercial aerospace market from seven sites across China, India, Malaysia and Turkey.