BAe seeks pounds 160m aid for new plane

British Aerospace has approached the Government seeking up to pounds 160m in launch aid to develop a stretched version of the Airbus A340 long-range jet. Rolls-Royce is also negotiating an aid package to build an engine for the new aircraft based on its Trent engine.

This emerged yesterday as the aerospace industry launched a campaign to persuade the Government to increase research and development funding for the sector fivefold to pounds 100m a year.

Mike Turner, president of the Society of British Aerospace Companies and head of BAe's commercial aircraft business, said that together with launch aid the industry was looking for a total of pounds 250m a year in government support.

BAe also intends to seek pounds 250m in launch aid for the 600-seat super jumbo planned by Airbus, the A3XX. The R&D programmes the industry is seeking increased funding for include a new wing design for the A3XX, advanced cockpit technology and a project aimed at reducing aircraft maintenance costs.

The industry will press its case at a meeting in the next few weeks with Margaret Beckett, the President of the Board of Trade. Mrs Beckett will also attend the Paris Airshow next month, where ministers from the four Airbus nations - Britain, France, Germany and Spain - are expected to review progress towards turning the consortium into a commercial company and the request for further launch aid.

The A340-500/600 series will cost pounds 2bn-pounds 2.5bn to launch and will give Airbus a long-range 375 seat jet able to compete with Boeing's 747 jumbo and versions of the wide-bodied 777. Rolls is vying with the US engine manufacturer Pratt & Whitney to supply the engine for the new aircraft. A decision on which manufacturer has been chosen may be announced before Paris.

BAe received pounds 400m in 1987 to develop the A330-A340 family of jets. It is due to start repaying that launch aid this autumn through a levy on sales and is pressing the Government to agree the new support package at the same time. Launch aid repayments will bring in pounds 500m for the Government over the next five years.

Mr Turner said that if Britain did not increase its support for aerospace R&D then 40,000 of the 100,000 jobs the industry supports could disappear over the next 15 years as companies went overseas for funding.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Life and Style
Steve Shaw shows Kate how to get wet behind the ears and how to align her neck
healthSteven Shaw - the 'Buddha of Breaststroke' - applies Alexander Technique to the watery sport
Arts and Entertainment
The sight of a bucking bronco in the shape of a pink penis was too much for Hollywood actor and gay rights supporter Martin Sheen, prompting him to boycott a scene in the TV series Grace and Frankie
footballShirt then goes on sale on Gumtree
Terry Sue-Patt as Benny in the BBC children’s soap ‘Grange Hill’
voicesGrace Dent on Grange Hill and Terry Sue-Patt
Arts and Entertainment
Performers drink tea at the Glastonbury festival in 2010
Arts and Entertainment
Twin Peaks stars Joan Chen, Michael Ontkean, Kyle Maclachlan and Piper Laurie
tvName confirmed for third series
Cameron Jerome
footballCanaries beat Boro to gain promotion to the Premier League
Arts and Entertainment
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Guru Careers: Software Developer / C# Developer

£40-50K: Guru Careers: We are seeking an experienced Software / C# Developer w...

Neil Pavier: Management Accountant

£45,000 - £55,000: Neil Pavier: Are you looking for your next opportunity for ...

Sheridan Maine: Commercial Accountant

£45,000 - £55,000: Sheridan Maine: Are you a newly qualified ACA/ACCA/ACMA qua...

Laura Norton: Project Accountant

£50,000 - £60,000: Laura Norton: Are you looking for an opportunity within a w...

Day In a Page

Abuse - and the hell that came afterwards

Abuse - and the hell that follows

James Rhodes on the extraordinary legal battle to publish his memoir
Why we need a 'tranquility map' of England, according to campaigners

It's oh so quiet!

The case for a 'tranquility map' of England
'Timeless fashion': It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it

'Timeless fashion'

It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
If the West needs a bridge to the 'moderates' inside Isis, maybe we could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive after all

Could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive?

Robert Fisk on the Fountainheads of World Evil in 2011 - and 2015
New exhibition celebrates the evolution of swimwear

Evolution of swimwear

From bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine