BAE Systems has signed a major technology transfer and outsourcing deal with South African aerostructures house Aerosud, under which the latter company will manufacture leading-edge wing components for the Airbus A320 family of airliners.

Initial production of wing components will total 240 shipsets a year, although BAE says this output could increase given a continued upturn in the commercial aerospace sector. The technology transfer agreement, meanwhile, will enable Aerosud to gain access to BAE's business model and industrial processes, and provide it with the opportunity to secure further military and commercial contracts via the company.

Worth some R650 million ($100 million), the agreement forms part of BAE's commitment to place work with South African industry to offset the country's armed forces' purchase of BAE Hawk trainers and Saab/BAE Gripen multirole fighters. Aerosud already manufactures avionics bay subassemblies for the A320 series. It also supplies galleys for South African Airways' new Airbus A319s, the first of which was scheduled to appear at the Africa Aerospace and Defence show on 24 September.

South Africa's growing involvement in producing components for both Airbus and Boeing airliners is having a marked impact on its national industrial participation (NIP) offset mechanism, says the government.

Business worth around $800 million has already come into the country under deals with the two leading commercial aircraft manufacturers, with Boeing having also moved some work from Seattle to Aerosud and Denel.

Source: Flight International