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ARC Aerosystems Linx P9

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ARC's Middle East deal will deliver economic boost to UK aviation
With the pilot production of ARC's Pegasus, P9 and C600 aircraft to be carried out in the UK, wider scale manufacturing will move to Saudi Arabia. Training could take place at Cranfield University.
ARC founder and CEO Dr Seyed Mosheni and Hisham AlJuma’an, chairman of Life Shield.

A deal between UK-based ARC Aero Systems and Riyadh-headquartered defence and security manufacturing specialist Life Shield will open the way for upwards of $384 million (£300m) of investment into the two nations' aerospace sectors.

ARC is in the advanced stages of developing a specially adapted hybrid-electric powered aircraft that it plans to bring to market by 2026. The modified design of the Avian Pegasus, a tried and tested jump take off gyroplane with VTOL capability, requires virtually no infrastructure in accessing remote communities and supporting emergency responders. This newly developed air taxi has approval from the FAA and can transport passengers for commercial purposes.

ARC is also developing the larger nine seat Linx P9 compound rotorcraft and the C600, one of the largest civilian unmanned aerial vehicles, capable of carrying payloads of up to 100kg across long distances.

Supported by Saudi Arabia's National Industry Development Center, this partnership will see both the Saudi Government and Life Shield make an equity investment in ARC Systems to create a new company, Life Shield Aerospace, based in the Middle East nation. The newly formed company will bolster UK manufacturing with the pilot production of each of ARC's three designs, the Pegasus, P9 and C600. Life Shield Aerospace will then set up facilities for wider scale manufacturing of aircraft in Saudi Arabia for domestic use by the country's Ministry of Air Transport and for worldwide export.

The agreement includes delivery of UK-based pilot training at Cranfield University.

As well as providing a major boost to UK aviation and manufacturing, the global partnership marks another key step forward for ARC Aero Systems as it prepares to launch into a market estimated to grow from its current value of around $9 billion to $45 billion by 2030.

ARC founder and CEO Dr Seyed Mosheni says: "We are incredibly excited and honoured to be part of this global joint venture with Life Shield. Not only does this support ARC in bringing its innovative solutions to market, it also provides a huge economic boost to UK aviation by promoting manufacturing, further R&D and academic collaboration within the sector. The Saudi Government's National Industry Development Center has shown a real commitment in bringing this partnership to fruition and structuring it to ensure it will deliver reciprocal benefits to both the UK and Saudi Arabia. This collaboration marks a significant milestone in ARC's young history and positions the company to become a major player in the aerospace sector by the end of this decade."

Hisham AlJuma'an, chairman of Life Shield, says: "Along with the benefits it will deliver in the UK, this strategic partnership will enhance industrial cooperation and promote the exchange of expertise between leading companies in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and other global companies in this field. It will also provide a significant contribution to the National Center for Industrial Development in the aircraft sector and support the goals of Saudi Arabia's Vision 2030.

"The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is forecasting huge growth in its aviation sector, with passenger numbers expected to treble to 330 million per year between now and 2023. This underlines the potential of the air industry, which is one of the most important sectors of our national industry strategy in terms of industrial development and direct job opportunities."

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