US$100 mn contract for UK composites in the US

UK-based Velocity Composites has signed a US$100 mn, five-year contract with GKN Aerospace to supply it with prepregs and other materials.

The contract involves the building of a 40,000 ft2 manufacturing facility near GKN’s site in Alabama, USA.

The new facility will build and supply all the composite material kits for GKN’s aerostructure and has been upgraded to the required clean room standard.

Site approvals and first article tests should be completed by the end of February 2023 and volume production will begin in Q1 2023, the company said. Velocity plans to train and employ up to 30 local staff, supported initially by existing staff from the UK.

“This is a major milestone for Velocity as we make a permanent entry into the US market and expand our long-standing relationship with GKN,” said Andy Beaden, chairman of Velocity Composites.

“We expect a step change in the use of carbon fibre in aircraft structures to improve fuel efficiency and deliver greater sustainability in the move to net zero. We believe this will increase the adoption of Velocity’s technology and services to improve manufacturing efficiencies and inventory supply lead times.”

Velocity has already formed contracts with three of GKN Aerospace’s UK sites, including Bristol, Luton, and the Isle of Wight but this is the first time the company has worked with GKN outside the UK.