Meggitt Ariane work continues

Meggitt involvement in the Ariane programme has been continuous since its inception in 1973 (Meggitt seeks EU foothold, 20 February). The current production vehicle, Ariane 4, may be used in several configurations determined by the total payload of satellites to be launched. The changes involve the addition of boosters to the first stage of the […]

Meggitt involvement in the Ariane programme has been continuous since its inception in 1973 (Meggitt seeks EU foothold, 20 February).

The current production vehicle, Ariane 4, may be used in several configurations determined by the total payload of satellites to be launched. The changes involve the addition of boosters to the first stage of the vehicle. Depending upon the number and type of boosters used, the launcher set value of parts supplied by Meggitt will vary between £150,000 and £240,000 with the most common configuration used giving a ship set value of about £190,000.

Ariane 5 development commenced in 1986 and is a totally new vehicle from that of Ariane 4.

In spite of the fact that the UK Government declined to support the development of this new vehicle Meggitt, because of its technical capability within the field of cryogenic fuel systems, was awarded a development contract for ducting systems in the cryogenic engine bay of the first stage.

This development phase has now been completed and orders received for initial sets of production hardware. This work has a launcher ship set value of £220,000.

Development work has already commenced to increase the payload capability of Ariane 5 which is centred around increasing the performance of the Vulcain engine.

Due to the continued absence of UK Government funding for this new development programme, the continued involvement of Meggitt on the programme has been threatened.

However, after much negotiation and debate at both industrial and political levels, it is now believed that the majority of work will be retained and a launcher ship set value of approximately £180,000 achieved.

In addition to the Ariane work, our capability in this technology has recently enabled work to be obtained on the McDonnell Douglas Delta III and Japanese 112A launch vehicles and on the Lockheed Martin Cassini satellite.

{{M A Staceychief executiveMeggitt plcWimborneDorset}}