Innovators here at BAE Systems play a key role in the development, manufacture and support of fast jets such as the Eurofighter Typhoon, F-35 and Future Combat Air Systems and will now work in close collaboration with their peers at Williams, an organisation that has achieved decades of success in the ultra-competitive environment of Formula One.
Drawing on each organisation’s skills, experience and knowledge, it is expected that the new partnership will devise and deliver projects to create game-changing innovations, ultimately influencing the design, performance and production of both fast jets and fast cars.
Initial collaborations are likely to include: work on intuitive cockpit designs for fighter pilots and racing drivers, taking advantage of each organisation’s work in virtual and augmented reality; aerodynamics; lightweight materials; and battery technology that could power solar powered unmanned air vehicles and the cars of the future.
The companies will work together on product and technology development, co-ordinating funding where there is a mutual benefit in doing so. Opportunities to exploit existing intellectual property will also be explored to harness some of the latest developments in specialist low volume manufacture and expertise in vehicle dynamics in each organisation’s specialist sector. There will also be secondment opportunities for engineers across both companies.
The partnership agreement follows on from previous valuable collaborations between the companies, which have included engineers from Williams Advanced Engineering using their expertise to help design and deliver a revolutionary cockpit simulator that gives BAE Systems a fully flexible and interactive cockpit to experiment with designs for work on its future combat aircraft initiative.
Ian Muldowney, Engineering Director, BAE Systems Air said:
“The Government’s Combat Air Strategy, published this summer, highlights the criticality of cutting-edge UK technology and Intellectual Property, including how this is generated, sustained and exploited.
“As we begin to explore what will be required from a UK future combat air system, we must work harder than ever to answer these questions. Working with technology leaders outside of our own industry will help us find new ways of asking questions and think in a different way about the solutions."
Mike O’Driscoll, Chief Executive Officer of the Williams Group said:
“We are pleased to be joining with BAE Systems in this strategic alliance. We look forward to growing this relationship still further and sharing expertise across the talented people at these iconic British companies, in engineering and beyond, to deliver significant benefits to our customers and partners.”
The agreement will be overseen by a steering committee comprised of senior representatives from each organisation, chaired by Ian Muldowney, Engineering Director for BAE Systems Air.