26 Jul 2012
Aerojet to launch new space venture
Aerojet, a GenCorp Inc company, has announced that it has entered the final planning stages of forming a European subsidiary to serve the needs of the European space industry. The new company, European Space Propulsion, will use indigenous manufacturing and engineering talent to produce proven thrusters and propulsion systems. The plan is to is base it in Northern Ireland and to work in partnership with Thales Air Defence Ltd in Belfast. The latter will provide a world-class manufacturing, assembly and test capability, while European Space Propulsion personnel will work with local government and academia on R&D activities. Engineering support services will be provided by Aerojet’s operations in Redmond, Washington.
The announcement marks the signing of a Memorand-um of Understanding between Aerojet and Thales UK, enabling detailed planning to be completed for production, R&D and test facilities. With the continued support of the authorities in Northern Ireland and the UK, as well as licensing approvals from the US Department of State, construction activities are expected to begin in the autumn, with initial operational capability by the end of the year.
Rick Yezzi, Aerojet’s vice-president of business development, said: “By forming a European subsidiary, we can best serve the needs of a growing world-wide space industry with ‘state of the art’ propulsion solutions. We look forward to becoming a full participant in the European space community.”