Relief at BAE deal U-turn

Latest news from the Lancashire Evening Post
Latest news from the Lancashire Evening Post
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A U-turn on a jet built in Samlesbury was today welcomed by a Lancashire MP.

But Lindsay Hoyle said the Government was wrong to scrap the Harrier jump jet in the first place.

Following a Defence Review, the Government decided to cancel the development of the jump jet, which is worked on at BAE Systems at Samlesbury, and commit instead to the J-35C aircraft launched and captured through the ‘cat and traps’ catapult system.

But now Defence Secretary Phillip Hammond has announced that the Ministry of Defence is instead committing to the Jump Jet version of the J-35 aircraft in a multi billion pound deal to build parts for 3,000 jets.

As both types of aircraft are worked on at Samlesbury it is business as usual with no extra jobs on the cards but no losses either.

Mr Hoyle said: “It is good news for jobs in the region because the u-turn means that the second carrier will be used operationally therefore requiring a secondary detachment of aircraft to operate off its deck.”

A BAE spokesperson said: “There will be no impact to the overall F-35 production schedule as a result of any change in variant requirements for the UK, and we will continue to support Lockheed Martin in delivering to the programme of record.”

It comes just a day after the Evening Post reported more jobs gloom with 600 city jobs hanging in the balance following the closure of call centre, Shop Direct on London Road, Preston, and the collapse of Clinton Cards, which has five stores in Preston and Chorley.

Mr Hoyle said: “The government was wrong to scrap the Harrier jump jet which was a highly versatile aircraft,.”