Abu Dhabi’s Mubadala sovereign wealth fund said its aerospace unit aims to become a risk-sharing partner of Airbus SAS and Boeing Co. on future plane programs as it develops an engineering-design capability.
Mubadala Aerospace plans to expand from build-to-print activities into design-to-build and take responsibility for 10 or 20 percent of an entire aircraft, executive director Homaid Abdulla Al Shemmari said today in an interview in Dubai.
At the Dubai Air Show this week Mubadala signed deals worth $5 billion to supply parts to Boeing and Airbus and struck similar deals with General Electric Co. and Rolls-Royce Holdings Plc covering engine elements. The company, which aims to supply components to Boeing’s new 777X, will team up with the manufacturers to establish research and development centers at Abu Dhabi’s Sheikh Khalifa University, Al Shemmari said.
“We have the finance, we have the manufacturing -- we get to engineering and R&D over the next three to five years and we’re ready to go to the next stage,” he said. “We’ll take a big chunk of the aircraft, detail-design it, have sub-contracts and make some of the parts here in the UAE.”
While training centers are available in the emirate, which is seeking to diversify away from the oil and gas sector, the chief challenge for Mubadala units that also include defense, nuclear and communications technologies will be to recruit from a limited talent pool that’s also tapped by energy companies.
Mubadala’s investment deals followed record-breaking plane orders from Gulf carriers including Abu Dhabi-based Etihad Airways PJSC at the Dubai show, though Al Shemmari said the developments are not linked