DCSIMG

Defence giant’s drive for new sales

The Secretary of State for Defence Philip Hammond visited the BAE Systems site at Warton near Preston. The Secretary of State is shown the cockpit of a Eurofighter Typhoon .  PIC BY ROB LOCK 1-10-2013

The Secretary of State for Defence Philip Hammond visited the BAE Systems site at Warton near Preston. The Secretary of State is shown the cockpit of a Eurofighter Typhoon . PIC BY ROB LOCK 1-10-2013

BAE Systems chiefs are pursuing multi-billion pound aircraft orders which could guarantee workers’ jobs for many years to come.

Bosses have revealed they are in negotiations to sell Typhoons to Malaysia, the United Arab Emirates and South Korea .

This comes on top of continuing contracts with Austria, Saudi Arabia and Oman.

Mark Parkinson, combat air business development director, said negotiations were at different stages but unerlined the importance of exports to BAE’s fortunes.

BAE sells roughly 50 per cent of its Typhoons and Hawk trainer planes overseas, and expects this to rise to 70 per cent by 2016.

Mr Parkinson said export customers were a vital part of the company’s operations.

Both the quality of the £120m plane and the support of the Ministry of Defence were keys parts of the Typhoon’s overseas success.

“The export market is important to us keeping the employment business that we have in the north west.

“In terms of what is available out there the Typhoon ranks among the best in the world, and it’s only in the early stage of its life cycle.

“We still have work to do to give it extra capability.

“As it is, there aren’t many aircract that can compete with the Typhoon’s capability.”

Malaysia needs 18 aircraft to replace the country’s MiG-29Ns, and South Korea needs 60 planes.

Mr Parkinson said Bahrain was another potential market.

Around 11,500 people are employed at the company’s two sites in Warton and Samlesbury.

BAE also makes parts of the American F-35 fighter jet at Samlesbury.

 

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