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'Current and next generation Eurofighter will dominate for decades'

The Tempest
The Tempest

​The Lancashire-built Eurofighter will ​dominate the European skies for decades, air chiefs have predicted.

The boost of confidence comes as the next generation Tempest was unveiled as the successor to the Eurofighter Typhoon at the Farnborough International Air Show.

A £2bn project is now under way to update the Typhoon.

And bosses have assured the BAE Systems workforce that every effort is being made to bring in new orders for scores of present and future Eurofighters .

Workers at BAE’s sites in Warton and Samlesbury are busy working on the Typhoon, plus the Hawk trainer plane and the American F-35 .

​Volker Paltzo, CEO of Eurofighter, said in Farnborough: “Eurofighter will remain the dominant fighter aircraft in Europe for the next 30 to 40 years.

Tempest infographic

Tempest infographic

“The technologies we are developing for Eurofighter today will go hand in hand with those technologies we expect to see on a future European fighter programme – manned or unmanned.

“Eurofighter will be a core pillar of any future European combat air system, and provides the best route to develop the technologies that will be incorporated into it.”

Mr Paltzo has also confirmed the consortium’s confidence in securing additional sales of Eurofighter.

He said: “Looking to the future, Eurofighter partner companies and their national governments are actively involved in campaigns across Europe involving in excess of 300 more potential aircraft.

The new Tempest is unveiled by Defence Secretary Gavin Williamsojn

The new Tempest is unveiled by Defence Secretary Gavin Williamsojn

“I want to emphasise that every Euro spent on Eurofighter within Europe stays in Europe. It is reinvested in the European economy, in European jobs, and in European communities. So, if Europe wants a strong defence and a strong industry to deliver it, then Eurofighter is the best choice for Europe.”

Chris Boardman, Group Managing Director of BAE Systems Air, said: “For a number of years we have been working with our partners, developing future combat air system technologies as part of our ongoing commitment to the UK’s continuing role as a leading international partner in air defence.

“These technologies have been brought together today in a concept that considers our shared view on the future threat environment and likely international requirements.

​“​They will develop and deploy on Eurofighter before ultimately being incorporated onto a future combat air system.

​“​This means that Eurofighter will remain at the forefront of technology. It also means that it will be the natural partner to work alongside a future fighter in the decades to follow its entry into service.”

The Farnborough International Airshow saw $46.4bn in deals ​on its first day, surpassing the figure achieved on the first day of the 2016 Airshow which stood at $23bn.

Orders were placed for 311 civil aircraft across the show worth $43.6bn.

More than $2.8bn in engine orders were also announced.

Going into the show, the commercial aircraft backlog stood at 14,327 – the largest ever.

The Prime Minister, Theresa May, officially opened the ​a​irshow, which comes 37 weeks before the UK leaves the European Union.

The Farnborough International Airshow is the most globally-attended with nearly 100 countries represented and an unprecedented number of military and civil commercial delegations.
With the UK Government’s Brexit White Paper facing significant political challenge, Carolyn Fairbairn, CBI Director-General, made the case for the UK’s world-leading aerospace, defence, security and space industries remaining at the heart of the UK economy, .

She said: “Our country is at a crossroads. Decisions being taken now will shape the UK for generations to come.

“We are in the throes of deciding what kind of economy we want to be. There are serious questions to answer. We know that.

“But here’s one certainty. We want this sector, with its shining example of high productivity, innovation and ambition to be at the heart of our economy.

“This year, Farnborough celebrates its 70th birthday. And it marks a red-letter year for the sector here in the UK. In aerospace, defence, security, and space the UK is by far the leading exporter in Europe. And is the second largest in the world.

“And the secret of that success? True collaboration, business with government, alongside our great British universities.

“And crucially, it’s collaboration for the long term – 30 years not 30 months. That’s what makes a proper industrial strategy, to use the Prime Minister’s welcome phrase.

“And that’s why this industry is an example for the whole of our economy. Proof in spades of how Britain can compete with the world – and win.”

Meanwhile, Danish defence company Terma and BAE Systems have signed a long-term price agreement for the manufacture of composite skins for all three variants of the F-35.

The agreement is a continuation of a long-term agreement signed in 2013 covering the manufacture of Large Composite Skins for the Horizontal and Vertical Tail on all variants of the F-35.

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One of BAE Systems’ vital suppliers is Lancashire-based A & G Precision and Sons Ltd.

The Wyre firm has more than 27 years experience in the manufacture of complex machine components for the aerospace giant.

That includes the manufacture of components for the Tornado, Typhoon, Hawk and F-35 aircraft. It also supports a number of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles programmes.

Founded by managing director Arthur Pinder in 1989, A&G Precision now employs 80 staff and is an integral part of the UK supply chain for precision machined and fully treated components.

A family-owned business, it is proud of its highly skilled team based at its state-of-the-art facility in Preesall, near Garstang.

A&G manufactures a broad range of components in a variety of metallic and non-metallic raw materials including castings and forgings.

The firm has in recent years continued its development plans under the “Supply Chains for the 21st Century” scheme.

Now the company has become one of the first companies to receive the coveted SC21 Gold Award, which was presented to them at the Farnborough air show yesterday.
Business development executive Andy Cash said the team was very proud of the award.

Mr Cash said more than 50 per cent of the firm’s work went to BAE Systems.

He said: “We have had a lot of support from BAE Systems and the North West Aerospace Alliance and we are the first mainland manufacturing company to receive this gold award, which is amazing.”