Hundreds of Fylde jobs protected with Turkish fighter jet agreement

MP Mark Menzies has welcomed an agreement with Turkey that will help protect hundreds of jobs in Fylde.

Prime Minister Theresa May signed the deal, with Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım, in Ankara ahead of a planned contract with a value in excess of £100m.

Mr Menzies said: “I was delighted Theresa May signed a Heads of Government agreement on Saturday during her trade mission to Turkey.

“This will mean that BAE plays a key role in the development of fighter aircraft for Turkey.

“I’m delighted that this will protect the jobs of more than 400 people at Warton and Samlesbury in the initial development phase, but in reality this is likely to lead to multi-billion pound contracts with our key NATO partner and protect jobs at Warton for decades to come.”

The Prime Ministers of Turkey and the United Kingdom, BAE Systems and Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI) signed a Heads of Agreement to collaborate on the first development phase of an indigenous fifth-generation fighter jet for the Turkish Air Force – TF-X.  This announcement builds upon a pre-contract study phase between BAE Systems and TAI.

BAE Systems chief executive, Ian King, said: ‘‘BAE Systems is a leader in designing, manufacturing and supporting fighter aircraft and is in an excellent position to contribute technical and engineering expertise and experience of managing complex projects to this key Turkish programme.

“The announcement signals an exciting next step in relations between both Turkey and the UK with the co-operation between BAE Systems and TAI paving the way for a deeper defence partnership. The agreement confirms ongoing collaborative work on the design and development of the aircraft.”

At its peak hundreds of Turkish and UK engineers will collaborate on the TF-X programme helping to support collaboration on the skills, technology and technical expertise required to deliver the programme.

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