BAE Systems and Belgian company ASCO Industries have agreed to collaborate on advanced manufacturing and engineering as part of the Eurofighter industrial offer to Belgium.

Under the agreement, the companies will explore potential work in areas such as additive layer manufacturing, composite materials and processes.

BAE and Asco will work on the Eurofighter Typhoon programme that will also include the production of airframes and assemblies.

The latest deal follows the signing of an agreement by BAE Systems, Airbus Defence & Space, Leonardo and MBDA to support the development of National Innovation Centres in Belgium, if Typhoon is selected to replace Belgium’s existing F-16 fleet.

Asco Industries chief commercial officer Laurent Canoen said: “We are excited about the opportunities this collaboration with BAE Systems could bring and we look forward to working together to achieve the aim of our agreement – the development of advanced future technologies and capabilities.

“Our offer will help further support and develop Belgium’s already outstanding capabilities in the defence and aerospace sector.”

“As a company, we already work closely in the commercial aircraft sector with Airbus and Leonardo, and we are now committed to further developing our relationship with the different partners in the Eurofighter programme.”

The two centres, one in Flanders and one in Wallonia, Belgium, will focus on advanced manufacturing and additive layer manufacture to further develop Belgium’s defence and aerospace industry.

BAE Systems Belgium Campaign Director Anthony Gregory said: “As part of our European industrial offer to Belgium, the Eurofighter nations and partner companies are fully committed to supporting the Essential Security Interests identified by Belgium, including advanced manufacturing.

“Working together with leading partners such as Asco, our offer will help further support and develop Belgium’s already outstanding capabilities in the defence and aerospace sector.”