Just Transition In Defence

Workshop 4: Aeronautics, Space & Missiles

27-28 April 2022 in Seville, Spain

Perspectives for the European Industry
Aeronautics, Space & Missiles

The development and production of aircraft and in general the complete so-called aeronautic sector is one of the EU’s key high-tech sectors. The industry develops and manufactures a broad range of civil and military aircraft, helicopters, drones, aero-engines, and other systems. The Airbus Group, with a turnover of €70.5 billion is – behind Boeing – the second largest aircraft producer in the world. The military part of the sector covers a broad range of manned and unmanned aerial systems, from combat aircraft and drones, to transport aircraft and helicopters.

In total, the aeronautic sector in the EU has more than 500,000 employees and has generated a turnover of over €170 billion, roughly a quarter of which stems from the military air sector. Employment in the military aeronautics sector is estimated at 168,000 jobs.

The industry is highly concentrated and primarily located in France, Germany, Italy, Spain and Sweden. The main companies for military production are Airbus Defence, Safran, Saab, BAE, Leonardo, Dassault, Thales, Rolls-Royce and MTU.

The workshop had participants from France, Germany, Belgium, Poland Spain, Italy, Sweden and Great Britain. One finding of the workshop was that so far there is no common approach to developing military systems between the main industrial actors (BAE Systems, Airbus, Leonardo, Rolls-Royce, Dassault and Safran). Competing programmes exist in all relevant categories (fixed wing, rotary wing, drones, etc.).

 Part of the workshop included a site visit to the Airbus production facilities in Seville.