BAE Systems has signed agreements with UK-based academic and research organisations in support of proposals for the development of two National Innovation Centres in Belgium for the Eurofighter Typhoon multi-role fighter aircraft.

The three organisations are the University of Sheffield Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC), the University of Manchester, and the Welding Institute (TWI).

The new innovation centres will be built in Flanders and Wallonia if the Eurofighter jet is selected by the Belgian Government to replace the country’s existing fleet of 54 F-16 aircraft.

If operational, the two National Innovation Centres will focus on advanced materials and manufacturing, as well as the production of additive layers.

The facilities will help enhance cooperation between industry and academia in Belgium and the UK.

BAE Systems Belgium campaign director Anthony Gregory said: “With the support of these key research bodies, we are delighted to sign agreements which form a significant component of our industrial proposal to Belgium.

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“These centres could also play an essential role in positioning Belgium’s industry for work on future combat aircraft programmes.”

“This shows we are fully committed to, and capable of, developing further partnerships with leading organisations in Belgium and delivering long-term, sustainable opportunities for Belgian industry.

“These centres could also play an essential role in positioning Belgium’s industry for work on future combat aircraft programmes.”

BAE Systems’ Eurofighter Typhoon is an advanced, flexible and agile combat aircraft that can be simultaneously deployed for both air-to-air and air-to-surface missions.

Operating at extremely high readiness under every condition, the Eurofighter jet can be regularly used for air policing missions in order to protect the Baltic airspace.