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17 October, 2016 - 10:02 By Kate Sweeney

Hexcel Cambridge cashes in on potential $15bn Airbus sales

hexcel compsite, nick stanage, cambridge

A $15 billion deal with key customer Airbus is set to hand the Cambridge UK operations of Hexcel Corporation a fresh sales bonanza, underpinning new jobs and further justifying expansion at the company’s Duxford innovation hub.

Wall Street-quoted Hexcel says two key contracts to supply advanced composites to Airbus Group have been amended. Hexcel expects these contracts to generate total sales of $15 billion for the duration of the deal.

The existing contract relating to Hexcel products supplied for commercial aircraft, helicopters, space and military programmes has been amended in favour of the business, which has its European R & D headquarters in the Cambridge technology cluster.

Specific commercial programmes covered include the A350XWB secondary structures, A380, the A320 and A330 family and ATR commercial aircraft.

The NH90, Tiger and EC135 helicopter programmes are also included, as are the A400M military transporter and Ariane launch vehicle. Hexcel supplies a wide range of composite materials for these programmes including fabrics, resins, prepregs and adhesives.

A second contract to supply HexPly® M21E/IMA carbon fiber prepreg for the primary structures of the Airbus A350XWB aircraft has been extended through 2030. This contract covers the entire family of the A350XWB aircraft including the A350-1000.

A Hexcel spokesperson in Cambridge told Business Weekly: “The announcement is excellent news for Hexcel Duxford which supplies a number of products to Airbus and its subcontractors including prepreg (fibre-reinforced resins), honeycomb cores and adhesives.

“As you reported previously Hexcel supplies all of the carbon fibre prepreg to Airbus for the A350 XWB primary structures and the resin film for this prepreg is made in Duxford.

“Regarding jobs we announced back in 2014 that we would be adding 100 posts to the Duxford workforce by 2017; this is underway, partly due to our capacity expansions and our expanded facilities at Duxford.”

Hexcel chairman, CEO and president Nick Stanage, added: “As an advanced composites industry leader, we are extremely proud to continue our long and rewarding partnership with the Airbus Group and are excited to take our relationship to a new level.

“The contract amendments and extensions are the result of years of product innovation, operational excellence and hard work by Hexcel employees and our partners.”

Hexcel Corporation is a world-leading advanced composites company. It develops, manufactures and markets lightweight, high-performance structural materials, including carbon fibres, reinforcements, prepregs, honeycomb, matrix systems, adhesives and composite structures, used in commercial aerospace, space and defence and industrial applications.

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