Fylde MP's delight as fighter aircraft contract extension offers BAe Systems jobs boost

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Fylde MP Mark Menzies has welcomed the expansion of an international partnership to develop and deliver the next generation of fighter aircraft.

The Prime Minister has announced Japan, Italy and the UK are to join forces on the Global Combat Air Programme, with BAE Systems workers at Warton at the very heart of the project.

Mr Menzies said: “Fylde and Lancashire have a huge amount of skills and expertise and engineers and designers at Warton have already been playing a key role in the development of this aircraft, as a crucial part of Team Tempest.

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“They will now be part of a global vision, to design and produce the aircraft which will be the backbone of our own air force and many others around the world.

The futuristic Tempest aircraft.The futuristic Tempest aircraft.
The futuristic Tempest aircraft.
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“This announcement positions the UK and Fylde, as a leader in production of the next generation of combat aircraft.”

UK partners in the scheme include BAE Systems and Rolls Royce with Japan’s Mitsubishi and Italian companies, including Leonardo also part of the programme.

The project has the potential to secure aerospace jobs in the UK and to create new employment opportunities, contributing £26 billion to the UK economy by 2050.

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Fylde MP Mark Menzies.Fylde MP Mark Menzies.
Fylde MP Mark Menzies.

In the UK 2,500 people, including staff at Warton and Samlesbury are already working as part of the Team Tempest partnership.

Mr Menzies said: “This is an important opportunity, to create jobs, to develop skills and to create a world-leading fighter jet.

“I am proud of the leading role people in Fylde are playing.”

The new aircraft is expected to enter service in the mid-2030s.