A top-secret stealth drone, built by BAE Systems in Lancashire, has carried out its first successful test flights from Warton.
MPs and members of the House of Lords met to show their support for the UK's submarine building industry, a key employer in the North West.
BAE Systems has sealed a £2.5bn jet deal with Oman. The deal will safeguard around 6,000 jobs at the Lancashire-based company.
BAE Systems is recruiting a record 568 apprentices in 2014 to build the next generation of nuclear submarines.
More than half of the roles are being created at the submarine yard in Barrow-in-Furness, where BAE is building seven new Astute class attack submarines for the Royal Navy.
Niney-four apprentices will design and build military aircraft in Lancashire and Yorkshire.
Positions start in September 2014 and last 42 months, with an average salary of around £14,000 and a guaranteed job at the end.
Group managing director Nigel Whitehead said: "Apprentices are a vital part of our talent pool.
"This is a win-win situation for our apprentices, our company and the wider economy."
Defence giant BAE Systems is to recruit around 140 engineering and business apprentices this year at the submarine-building business in Barrow-in-Furness in Cumbria.
Around 400 young people are being recruited in total across the firm's other BAE sites.
Around one in 10 of the new recruits will join the firm's five-year higher apprentice programme, which combines on-the-job training with degree-level studies.
Group managing director Nigel Whitehead said: "Our continued commitment to the apprentice programme reflects the sustainable position of our UK business and the success of the programme in generating BAE Systems' workforce of the future.
"We like to train people from an early age and find that the combination of on-the-job training and academic study without debt, is a great motivator for our apprentices to stay with us."