Boeing has expanded its supplier base into the Middle East by awarding a 10-year contract to Strata Manufacturing, the Al Ain-based subsidiary of Mubadala Aerospace in the United Arab Emirates. The deal, announced at the Global Aerospace Summit in Abu Dhabi on April 17, covers empennage ribs for the 777 twinjet and vertical fin ribs for the 787.
Boeing has supplied tooling, operational training and other support for the work packages to Strata for a number of months. Already an established composite aerostructures supplier to Airbus, Strata expects to begin delivery of the components to the U.S. airframer in 2013. “In addition, based on its competitiveness and performance, Strata is positioned to become a future supplier of the 787 vertical fin assembly,” according to a statement issued jointly by Boeing and Mubadala Aerospace.
The contract follows a provisional partnership agreement sealed at the November 2011 Dubai Air Show. Mubadala, Abu Dhabi’s $45 billion sovereign wealth fund for diversifying the emirate’s economy, established Mubadala Aerospace in 2006 and has a goal of breaking even by 2013. The group has set aside some $1 billion to expand its facilities to provide capacity for partnerships such as the new work for Boeing. The Strata factory opened in May 2010 and already produces flap track fairings for the A330.
“This is an important milestone for Strata,” said Homaid Al Shemmari, executive director of Mubadala Aerospace, referring to the breakthrough deal with Boeing to become its latest Tier 1 supplier. The new Global Aerospace Summit highlighted the UAE’s emergence on the aviation and aerospace map. In addition to Mubadala, it is also home to two of the world’s fastest-growing airlines: Dubai-based Emirates and Abu Dhabi’s Etihad.