Aerospace company Sonaca Group has signed an agreement to support the Eurofighter Typhoon programme and encourage future aerospace technology if Belgium selects the aircraft to replace its existing F-16 fleet.
Under the terms of the cooperation agreement, which has been signed with BAE Systems, Sonaca will help support the proposed development of two National Innovation Centres in Wallonia and Flanders.
The two centres will be built to focus on the manufacturing of advanced and additive layers, as well as support Belgium’s top-level supply chain skills and encourage new technology development across the small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) by offering significant resources for the companies to access.
BAE Systems Belgium campaign director Anthony Gregory said: “We are delighted to sign this agreement with Sonaca and are looking forward to developing an exciting and long-term relationship between our two companies.
“Eurofighter is the true European proposal for Belgium, and we are committed to providing long-term sustainable growth for Belgian industry, further developing the country’s world-class capabilities in manufacturing technology.
“These technologies would position Belgium and Belgian industry for a role in a next-generation aircraft programme with European partners.”
Sonaca is the latest Belgian company to support the development of the new innovation centres, the others being BAE Systems, Airbus Defence and Space, Leonardo, and MBDA, who signed an agreement last year in support of the project.
A study conducted by Oxford Economics shows that the two centres could potentially generate a turnover of €2.9bn over 25 years.