BAE Systems Lancashire military aircraft factories are standing by to play their part in the government's drive to manufacture thousands of new ventilators to combat coronavirus.

It plants at Samlesbury and Warton already assemble life-support systems with oxygen masks using similar techniques for warplanes.

The government is understood to be negotiating with a consortium of UK manufacturers to speed up production of a new ventilator based on existing technology.

Ramping up production of life-saving ventilators to treat coronavirus patients will tap the talents of some of Britain's biggest and best-known companies.

Last week a consortium called Ventilator Challenge UK, made up of heavyweights from industry, came together to work out a way to scale up production of a ventilator built in the UK and a modifying another design so it can be manufactured faster in British factories.

A BAE Systems spokesman said:“We stand ready to support the Government and have offered our skills and expertise to help with the national endeavour during this unprecedented challenge facing our country.”