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BAE Systems takes 20 percent stake in Reaction Engines

02 November 2015

BAE Systems plans to invest £20.6m in Reaction Engines to acquire 20 percent of its share capital and also enter into a working partner relationship.

The SABRE engine (image courtesy of Reaction Engines)

Under the terms of the agreement, BAE Systems will enter into a preferred supplier relationship with Reaction Engines in certain agreed areas and will have representation on the board of the UK-based, privately held company.

Reaction Engines is currently developing the technologies needed for an advanced combined cycle air-breathing rocket engine called SABRE (Synergetic Air-Breathing Rocket Engine). This new class of aerospace engine is designed to enable aircraft to operate from standstill on the runway to speeds of over five times the speed of sound in the atmosphere.

SABRE can then transition to a rocket mode of operation, allowing spaceflight at speeds up to orbital velocity, equivalent to twenty five times the speed of sound. Reaction Engines’ technology has undergone extensive independent technical assessments which have confirmed its viability and potential vehicle applications.

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.

Together with BAE Systems’ investment, this injection of capital is expected to support Reaction Engines’ transition from the research phase into development and testing of the engine, including plans to expand its engineering workforce.

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