Prime Minister urged to intervene to save BAE jobs in Brough

MPs have called for a new Red Arrows fleet to be commissioned Credit: ITV News

Jets flown by the Red Arrows are likely to be built overseas unless the Government intervenes, a cross-party group has warned.

In a letter to Prime Minister Theresa May, 142 MPs have called for orders for replacements of the Hawk plane to be brought forward to save jobs at BAE Systems and keep production in the UK.

The letter, backed by 120 Labour MPs, 21 Conservatives and DUP chief whip Sir Jeffrey Donaldson, was organised by Labour MP Diana Johnson and Conservative MP Andrew Percy, whose constituencies include BAE workers.

The group warned that unless new contracts are signed soon there will be "virtually no possibility to build any future Hawk aircraft in the UK", according to The Sunday Times.

It could leave the RAF acrobatic team performing its stunning daredevil displays in foreign-built aircraft in future years.

BAE Systems announced on Tuesday that it is planning to cut almost 2,000 jobs in its military, maritime and intelligence services to give it "sharper" competitive edge.

Around 40% of a new Hawk is manufactured at the company's site at Brough, East Yorkshire, and the rest at Warton and Samlesbury in Lancashire.

The Tmk1 aircraft used by the Red Arrows has had its out of service date extended by 10 years to 2030.

The group, which includes former Labour leader Ed Miliband and the Conservative chairman of the 1922 Committee Graham Brady, said the planes entered service during the 1970s so the likelihood of them progressing beyond 2030 is "extremely low".

The letter said:

It adds: