Defence giant BAE Systems will today open a new manufacturing facility at one of its UK sites, marking another milestone in production of the F-35 military jet.
The company said its site at Samlesbury in Lancashire will be extended under a #150 million investment programme which will enable workers to produce a fuselage set every day compared to the current rate of one a week.
Chris Allam, Senior Vice President on the F-35 programme, said "The facility opening is an exciting development in the F-35 story at Samlesbury.
"F-35 is an important programme for BAE Systems and the capabilities that this facility provides are equal to anywhere in the world.
"We're using state-of-the-art machines and manufacturing techniques to ensure we can meet the rates of production that the F-35 programme demands."
Martin Wright, Chairman forthe North West Aerospace Alliance, added "The F-35 programme is thelargest defence project in the world and through BAE Systems will be thebackbone of stability to our regional industry through those companiessuccessful in winning F-35 contracts.
"This facility isstate of the art, somewhere in which our young people will want to work, tobuild knowledge, create jobs and secure the future of this magnificent industryof ours."
Over the past 10 years BAESystems has made significant investment in the F-35 programme including a newtitanium machining facility which opened in 2010, a new office building and nowthe newly extended manufacturing facility, with around 1,000 workers based inthe three buildings.