Multinational defence, security and aerospace company, BAE Systems, has joined forces with University of Manchester as part of a new deal to establish a long-term relationship in research, education and consultancy surrounding UAVs.
The university, which has a range of world-class science and engineering strengths, including expertise in aerospace and the development of advanced materials, is among a small group of selected UK universities invited to sign this partnership agreement with the UK-based defence giant.
The move comes after BAE Systems announced that it will focus on building closer partnerships with a smaller number of universities which share expertise in particular areas of future capability.
At the end of last year the organisation and the University of Manchester successfully completed the first phase of flight trials with their unmanned system, MAGMA.
MAGMA, a small scale unmanned aerial vehicle, which will use a unique blown-air system to manoeuvre the aircraft, removes the conventional need for mechanical moving parts used to move flaps to control the aircraft during flight.
The flight trials are part of an ongoing project between the two organisations and a wider long-term collaboration between industry, academia and government to explore and develop innovative flight control technology.
Professor Martin Schröder, vice-president of the University of Manchester and dean of the faculty of science and engineering, and Dave Holmes, manufacturing operations director of military air and information at BAE Systems, signed the agreement in Manchester.
Holmes explained: “This signing marks a really important step forward in the way that we, as a company, develop future capabilities.
“Manchester is one of only a handful of UK universities that we have selected to form long-term strategic partnerships to help us drive forward research and development of specific technologies.
Schröder added: “This framework agreement with BAE Systems which will ensure our relationship will grow even stronger in the future – and we look forward to working with BAE Systems on exciting research and education innovations.”