16 Mar 2017

Working with the big names in defence procurement

We preview what’s on offer in DPRTE’s Supply Chain and Partnering zone.

In its Ten Year Equipment Plan 2012-2022 the Ministry of Defence sets out its forecast expenditure plans worth almost £160 billion.

These will deliver and support the equipment required to meet the Armed Forces’ future objectives and obligations.

The Supply Chain and Partnering Knowledge Transfer Zone at DPRTE 2017 will offer a range of presentations and training sessions throughout the day, supporting supply chain opportunities across the defence sector.

One of these sessions will be delivered by Martin Lee, Procurement Manager, Programme Procurement at Airbus Defence and Space.

Martin is responsible for the early engagement and interaction with UK defence, security and space suppliers who can offer competitive and innovative world-class products and services that complement the Airbus Defence and Space R&D&T roadmaps and product portfolio.

He will give an overview of Airbus Defence and Space with a UK focus; explain how procurement works within Airbus; what the company expects of its suppliers; and talk about the SME Charter and supplier opportunities.

Martin says: We will present an overview of the opportunities in the defence, security and space sectors that are aligned with our technology and programme roadmaps.’’

And what does Airbus Defence and Space hope to get out of DPRTE?

“The opportunity to meet our future suppliers, those who can offer the most innovative products and services that the market can offer,’’ he says.

Airbus presents suppliers with a potentially vast range of opportunities. It manufactures the largest family of transport and tanker aircraft with support services for conventional military, humanitarian and civil missions across the globe.

It designs, develops and builds both payloads and complete satellites that provide operational capabilities and services in communications, navigation, orbital, exploration and earth observation; it also provides secure communication solutions and intelligence and security solutions for governments, institutions and private business.

In general the company seeks to support UK industry and is keen to collaborate with suppliers with disruptive technologies and solutions. In particular it is looking for: spin-in technologies from other key sectors; ALM/3D printing; contract electronics manufacturing; graphene applications; novel energy sources; photonics; data analytics; machine learning; and high performance computing.

In the space sector, opportunities with Airbus lie in: low cost optical comms; active flat panel array antennas, active switch matrices and beamformers; compact butler matrices for use in multi-port amplifiers; lightweight/low loss, high frequency RF coaxial cables up to Q-band; radio frequency (RF) and microwave communication equipment; solar array, flight control and command devices; optical components, computer, data storage and servers; equipment – V and E-band LNA and V to Ka, W to Ka, and Ka to Q-band converters.

In aerospace, it is looking for lightweight and highly efficient technologies comprising: solar cell technology; electric motors; high performance rechargeable power; aero structures; and innovative persistent payloads.

In defence, its requirements are for: IT and network equipment; security software products; X Band Satcom terminals; BLOS communications; contract manufacturing; ruggedisation of COTS products; maritime satcom terminals; and mobile Mil Satcom terminals.

This represents a vast and varied range of requirements and Airbus is particularly interested in engaging and partnering with SMEs to help it in its programmes.

As Airbus says: “In order to assure our worldwide competitiveness we are highly focused towards the development and global sourcing of the most innovative products and services the market can offer.

“We actively encourage engagement with SMEs who can deliver a value added contribution in today’s challenging aerospace, space and defence environment.’’

 

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