Published on April 28th, 2021 | by Alan Dwyer


Spirit AeroSystems Advances Project for UK Ministry of Defence

The Belfast division of Spirit AeroSystems has announced it will lead Team MOSQUITO. It will be a combination from Spirit Belfast, Northrop Grumman and Intrepid Minds, on the further development of the Royal Air Force’s (RAF) Lightweight Affordable Novel Combat Aircraft (LANCA) concept to full demonstration capability. Initially, the project will support more than 100 STEM jobs at Spirit Belfast’s facility, the project has the potential to sustain further expertise in the wider UK supply chain. Drawing on its expertise in advanced composite manufacturing solutions, Spirit Belfast will adapt its award-winning resin transfer infusion technology to produce a lightweight vehicle capable of uncrewed, high-speed flight. The benefits of using extensive composite components, compared to all-aluminium aerostructures, include both reduced maintenance and fuel consumption for aircraft operations.

Commenting on the new project, Scott McLarty, SVP of Spirit AeroSystems, Airbus Programs said, “Spirit Belfast is delighted to lead the delivery of a national programme enabling the development of cutting-edge technologies while maintaining critical skills in the UK. Supporting the MOD’s strategic objectives on pace, affordability and operational capacity, Team MOSQUITO will help drive collaborative innovation and competitive advantage. We are excited to develop this relationship with a view to contributing to a more sustainable industrial base for UK defence.”

Northrop Grumman will supply its international DA/RC (Distributed Autonomy / Responsive Control) technologies, gateway offerings and advanced mesh networking capabilities to the aircraft. These enable seamless human-machine collaboration and cooperative mission management across distributed manned and unmanned assets.

Intrepid Minds will cover the complete avionics system, power, lighting and integration with the ground control station. As part of this project, the company brings its own Adrestia system currently being deployed across the air, surface and subsurface domains. Having already integrated into many civil and defence systems, Intrepid Minds is using that speed of development to generate a cohesive structure across all partners and suppliers.

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