BAE Systems has taken a 20 per cent stake in a company to jointly develop a jet and rocket engine that is capable of launching arcraft into space.
The planemaker, which employs 10,000 people in Lancashire, has announced a strategic investment in Reaction Engines Ltd.
The deal will accelerate Reaction Engines’ development of SABRE – a new aerospace engine class that combines both jet and rocket technologies.
BAE Systems will invest £20.6 million in Reaction Engines and its experts will work closely with the company on the engine’s development.
The move is seen as confirmation that BAE Systems is looking to the future beyond its Typhoon Eurofighter and its ground-breaking Taranis unmanned aircraft.
BAE Systems chiefs said today the engine had “significant future potential”.
The UK Government is expected to confirm grant funding of £60 million for Reaction Engines to further SABRE’s development towards a ground based test engine and to investigate its applications for space access vehicles.