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East Lancs jobs hopes of £7.1bn BAE Systems US fighter deal
WORKERS at BAE Systems have received a boost after it has emerged the company could be in line for a new £7.1bn contract.
The United States Airforce is currently looking for a manufacturer to provide them with a new training jet.
It has been reported that senior figures at BAE believe the T-X program for 350 training jets, presents a ‘very significant opportunity’ and that the company is well positioned to win the deal.
BAE, which has plants in Samlesbury and Warton as well as in Yorkshire and Brough, believes its Hawk jet has a strong chance because budget constraints in the US mean the air force is not looking for a brand new aircraft.
If the company wins the contract, the Hawk, which is used by the Red Arrows display team, would be assembled in the US.
However, around half the components would be produced in the UK.
A final decision is expected to be made by the US Air Force in early 2014, with the chosen aircraft in service by 2020.
Union member and BAE worker Alan Quinn, said: “If BAE wins this contract it would mean security for the workers, especially after everything we have been through recently with recent redundancies.
“The company would have several years to get ready for the contract, including employing and training new staff “Winning this contract would really cement BAE Systems as one of the biggest aerospace companies in the world.”
The Hawk fighter jet will be on display at the Farnborough Air Show which opens today.
A BAE spokesman declined to comment on the speculation.
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