UK government and Lockheed Martin to begin £38mn joint venture
The UK government and aerospace and defence giants, Lockheed Martin, has announced it will work together under a new Prosperity Framework, The Manufacturer reports.
The agreement will see both entities combine in order to identify new opportunities to produce more value to the UK and Lockheed Martin.
This £38mn ($49.5mn) investment will create and develop original ideas and technologies, in addition to strengthening supply chains and aiding the growth of advanced manufacturing and technology sectors.
“Lockheed Martin’s commitment clearly demonstrates how they view the UK as a top country to work with, with our world-class defence industry, supported by powerhouse universities and a wealth of high-tech and innovative small businesses,” Defence Minister, Guto Bebb said.
“As we look to our post-Brexit future, it is crucial that we create, develop and strengthen our relations with international partners across defence. Foreign investment in defence stimulates robust growth across a host of sectors in the British economy so this should be at the forefront of our international aspirations.”
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It is anticipated that this new venture will enable the UK economy to enjoy substantial benefits to the wider defence, aerospace and space sectors.
“We greatly value our partnership and see this agreement as a way to strengthen our relationship and help the UK to prosper,” said Rick Edwards, Executive Vice President for Lockheed Martin International.
“Our expertise in developing new technology like autonomous systems and exploring new frontiers like space will be invaluable in helping the UK to be a world leader in defence and aerospace.”
US-based Lockheed Martin has been a partner in UK Defence for almost 80 years.
The firm helps support 1,000 suppliers and 10,000 jobs by contributing £1bn ($1.3bn) to the economy every year.
Timeline: Tesla's Construction of Gigafactories
Tesla's mission to accelerate the world's transition to sustainable energy
Founded in 2003, Tesla was established by a group of engineers with a drive to "prove that people didn’t need to compromise to drive electric – that electric vehicles can be better, quicker and more fun to drive than gasoline cars." Almost 20 years on, Tesla today is not only manufacturing all electric vehicles, but scaleable clean energy generation and storage too.
"Tesla believes the faster the world stops relying on fossil fuels and moves towards a zero-emission future, the better," says Tesla. "Electric cars, batteries, and renewable energy generation and storage already exist independently, but when combined, they become even more powerful – that’s the future we want. "
In order to deliver on its promise of "accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable energy through increasingly affordable electric vehicles and energy products," Tesla's Gigafactory journey began in 2014 to meet its produciton goals of 500,000 cars per year (a figure which would require the entire worlds supply of lithium-ion batteries at the time).
By ramping up its production and bringing it in-house, the cost of Tesla 's battery cells declined "through economies of scale, innovative manufacturing, reduction of waste, and the simple optimisation of locating most manufacturing processes under one roof." With this reduction in battery cost, "Tesla can make products available to more and more people, allowing us to make the biggest possible impact on transitioning the world to sustainable energy."
2014: Giga Nevada and Giga New York begin construction
Born out of necessity to meet its own supply demand for sustainable energy, Tesla began the construction of its first Gigafactory in June 2014, in Reno, Nevada, followed by its Buffalo, New York facility the same year. "By bringing cell production in-house, Tesla manufactures batteries at the volumes required to meet production goals, while creating thousands of jobs," said Tesla.
2016: Reno, Nevada grand opening
Tesla’s construction of Giga Nevada came to an end in 2016, the first of its Gigafactories to complete its construction project. The factory’s grand opening took place in July 2016, and by mid-2018 reached an annual battery production rate of 20 GWh, which made it the highest-volume battery plant in the world that year.
2017: Giga New York begins production
Two years after Tesla’s second Gigafactory began construction, Giga New York was complete, and started its production operations in 2017.
2019: Giga Shanghai construction to production in record time
In 2019, Tesla selected Shanghai as its third Gigafactory location. The company constructed the factory in record time, taking just 168 working days from gaining permits to finishing the plant's construction.
2019: Giga Berlin begins construction
Announced in November 2019, Tesla began the construction of its first European Gigafactory in Berlin. The Gigafactory is still under construction.
2020: Giga Texas begins construction
The following year in August 2020, Tesla began the construction of its Giga Texas factory. The company’s third Gigafactory in the US is still under construction.
2021: Giga Texas and Giga Berlin expected completion of construction
Looking to the future, Tesla expects to complete the construction of its Giga Texas and Giga Berlin factories in May 2021 and July 2021 respectively.