Datum Tool Design signs million-dollar deal with X'ian Aircraft Corporation

Economy Minister Simon Hamilton with Michael Maguire (left) and John Getty, directors of Datum
Gail Bell

COUNTY Down firm Datum Tool Design is creating 13 new skilled engineering jobs on the back of a million-dollar deal with China.

The Ballynahinch company has signed an initial order for more than $1million (£745,000) with X'ian Aircraft Corporation following a visit to Northern Ireland in 2014.

The Chinese company is in the development phase of the new MA-700 aircraft and Datum Tool Design is the first overseas sub-contractor to be awarded work.

The jobs, which will all be in place over the next three years, will generate £358,500 in annual salaries into the local economy and coincide with Datum's £785,000 investment in enhanced manufacturing capabilities.


A highly specialist niche designer of composite tooling, primarily for the global aerospace and automotive sectors, the firm's customer base includes Airbus, Boeing, Bombardier, Gulfstream, AVIC China, HAL India, Quickstep Australia, Aston Martin, GKN and Formula One teams.

Michael Maguire of Datum Tool Design said: "A number of new aircraft programmes are being introduced to meet increasing demand for air travel and by growing our manufacturing capabilities and workforce, we will enhance our scope to target emerging markets."

Economy Minister Simon Hamilton said: "With our manufacturing exports growing, I want to see more companies like this capitalise on their exporting potential.

"Invest NI’s support for this project is ensuring that aerospace companies like Datum evolve and establish the skills sets, design and manufacturing capabilities to meet the needs of this global industry."

Invest NI has offered Datum £177,500 to help it purchase specialist composite machinery and expand its workforce.

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