Mark Menzies MP quizzes Minister over BAE exports

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FYLDE MP Mark Menzies has pressed the Defence Minister in the House of Commons over Government support for the sale of BAE Systems’ Hawk aircraft.

Hawk, the aircraft famously flown by the Red Arrows, are now constructed at BAE Systems’ site in Warton after the assembly line was relocated from Brough in Yorkshire following a company restructure.

The Member of Parliament raised the issue during Defence Questions in the House of Commons and started by thanking Armed Forces Minister, Mark Francois MP, for his recent visit to Lancashire for an update on various aircraft projects.

Mr Menzies told the Chamber: “May I put on record my thanks to the Minister for the Armed Forces for his visit to BAE systems in Warton and Salmesbury aerodromes, which are key employers in Lancashire.

“Will he update the House on defence export prospects for the Hawk trainer aircraft, as its production line has recently opened in my Fylde constituency?”

The response to Mr Menzies’ question came from Philip Dunne, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Defence.

He replied: “As my hon. Friend knows, BAE systems is pursuing a number of significant export prospects for the Hawk, with active support from the Ministry of Defence and UK Trade and Investment Defence and Security Organisation.

“As international air forces modernise their front-line aircraft, we anticipate that there will be significant further interest in the next generation of Hawk aircraft, the Hawk T2, which is already in service to train our Typhoon pilots and will do so for the F-35 pilots in due course.”

Following the Parliamentary session, Mr Menzies said he was keen to make sure the smaller aircraft was receiving the same support as its larger counterpart, the Eurofighter Typhoon.

He added: “I know Ministers have been fully involved in supporting exports of Typhoons and I wanted to make sure that Hawks were not being overlooked.”

 

PICTURE: Mark Menzies MP with Armed Forces Minister Mark Francois MP during recent visit to BAE Systems’ sites in Lancashire.

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