THOUSANDS of aerospace jobs could be secured thanks to a new venture between BAE and France’s Dassault Aviation.
The firms have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to collaborate exclusively on the preparation and submission of a joint proposal to the UK and French Ministries of Defence for an unmanned aircraft system.
And Fylde MP Mark Menzies yesterday pressed the Government on a decision to sign up for the unmanned aerial vehicle programme.
He said: “I asked in Parliament yesterday when the Government would be able to commit to the programme. They said they were very much aware of it.
“When people think of Warton they think of Typhoon but it is very much about what comes next.
“This memorandum is hugely important to the Fylde in the long term.
“It is very significant for jobs and for skills in Fylde.”
The memorandum will enable the two companies to establish a framework under which they may jointly pursue this long term business opportunity.
BAE Systems and Dassault Aviation have already completed a joint feasibility study which has given both companies the confidence to move to the next stage of developing a joint proposal that will harness the considerable UAS capabilities of both BAE Systems and Dassault Aviation.
Kevin Taylor, managing director of military air and information at BAE said: “A successful BAE Systems/Dassault Aviation solution will ensure that the UK and France maintain their status as leading providers of aerospace capability
“It will also ensure that both countries get the best return on the investment they have made in state-of-the-art technologies. We have a strong team in place that is ready to develop the future frontline UAS capability required by both the UK and France.”
Eric Trappier, executive vice president international at Dassault Aviation added: “Our joint experience and proven capabilities, together with an efficient co-operation process, allow us to offer a vehicle that will provide the UK and France with a cost-effective intelligent autonomous exploitation system.
“It will meet both countries’ military requirements, to schedule, and within the budgetary constraints under which both governments will operate in future.
“We look forward to a swift development go-ahead decision from the two governments soon.”
Mr Menzies added: “The Government is very much about this project and a an announcement is expected in due course.”