DSEI 2021: Middle Eastern fund invests in Aeralis start-up

UK aerospace start-up Aeralis has received a boost in its efforts to develop a new jet training aircraft after signing an investment agreement with an unnamed Middle Eastern sovereign wealth fund.

Announcing the agreement on September 16 at the DSEI exhibition and conference in London, UK, the company revealed the initial investment totalled £10.5m (US$14.4m), which will support the design, development and first flight of its Advanced Jet Trainer platform.

Aeralis Advanced Jet Trainer
The development of the Advanced Jet Trainer comes over 40 years since the last UK-only build of a jet aircraft. Aeralis 

Tristan Crawford, Aeralis founder and CEO, described the investment agreement as a “transformational” moment for the programme.

An Aeralis statement said that the company continued “to be in discussion with the UK Ministry of Defence” as well as other parties across the defence industry to explore further options to support the programme. The modular design of the aircraft will see it able to be outfitted for a wide range of missions, from its role as a jet trainer, to surveillance and potentially light combat air.

The company is currently engaged in a range of industrial partnerships including with the UK’s Rapid Capabilities Office, Rolls-Royce, Thales UK, Atkins, and Siemens.