The UK Government has previously committed £60 million funding via the UK Space Agency and the European Space Agency to support the development of the project. The new strategic investors are Boeing HorizonX Ventures, the investment arm of the world’s largest aerospace company Boeing; and Rolls-Royce, which has been at the forefront of British engineering for over a century.
They join BAE Systems, which invested £20.6 million in Reaction Engines in 2015 and is providing further investment in this round, as well as financial investors Baillie Gifford Asset Management and Woodford Investment Management.
Together these investments take the total raised by Reaction Engines in the last three years to over £100 million.
Sam Gyimah, Minister of State for Universities, Science, Research and Innovation, said:“These investments are a real vote of confidence in Reaction Engines and its revolutionary SABRE engine, which has benefited from £60m in UK Government support. Boeing and Rolls-Royce will bring world-class expertise to the project ahead of its testing at Westcott, alongside the new National Space Propulsion Facility.
“This is an exciting time as the UK’s commercial space industry goes from strength to strength, boosting the economy and creating high-skilled jobs across the country. Through our ambitious Industrial Strategy, we are working with the sector to pursue new opportunities, develop technologies and infrastructure, and enable small satellite launch and sub-orbital flight from UK spaceports for the first time.”
Reaction Engines is currently constructing a new facility in Westcott, Buckinghamshire, UK for SABRE testing. The UK Space Agency is also investing more than £4 million in a National Propulsion Test Facility on the same site, which has a strong history of rocketry research for defence and space development.
Mark Thomas, Chief Executive of Reaction Engines said:“This is a significant milestone for Reaction Engines and I am delighted to welcome our new strategic and financial shareholders. In addition to providing our largest round of private investment, these new partners bring invaluable expertise in both hypersonics and engine technologies with significant access to target markets. This is not only a vote of confidence in our technology but also underlines belief in our ability to develop a thriving commercial business which will provide strong financial returns for our shareholders.”