Minister visits BAE Systems Warton to learn about export potential

BAE Systems’ Warton site had the chance to show off its latest projects and manufacturing techniques during a ministerial visit.

Friday, 16th July 2021, 12:30 pm
Updated Monday, 19th July 2021, 10:27 am

Export minister Graham Stuart visited the Fylde plant to also get an update on the order book and export potential.

He was joined on a tour of the facility by Fylde MP Mark Menzies, who said: “The minister was given a full update of Typhoon orders and potential new orders from around the world, and also on updates, such as its new radar and helmet capabilities.

“We toured the Factory of the Future facility and spoke with some of the company’s apprentices.”

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Fylde MP Mark Menzies and exports minister Graham Stuart at BAE Systems Warton

The minister watched an apprentice use a simulation to operate a robotic arm before it arrives on site, with feedback sent to the manufacturer, who will make improvements before the arm is manufactured and delivered.

The Factory of the Future is designed to be used for a variety of different manufacturing operations, and has been built in a hanger in use on the site since 1942.

Mr Menzies added: “I told the minister the importance of securing more orders, not just for BAE Systems but also for the wider supply chain. It is vital we maintain a skilled worforce at BAE Systems where we lead the world.”

Mr Menzies followed up the visit by asking the Secretary of State for Defence in Parliament what support the Government was providing BAE Systems. The company is aiming to sell Typhoon to Finland to replace its F18 fleet.

e asked: “Will my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State outline what is being done to support our world-class defence manufacturing export success, and will he commit to the continuation of the Typhoon export programme?”

Defence Secretary, and Wyre MP, Ben Wallace told him: “The defence and security industrial strategy published in March set out how the Government will support defence and security exports.

“The UK Government and BAE are leading on the current opportunity in Finland and will continue to support industry in this campaign and future opportunities where they are present.

“Typhoon continues to benefit from ongoing investment, including Leonardo’s European Common Radar System Mark 2 radar and MBDA’s Meteor and SPEAR—Selective Precision Effects at Range—weapons. This increased capability will strengthen export prospects.”

The export minister’s visit follows a visit to Warton earlier this year by Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

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