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BAE Starts Work on Samlesbury F-35 Expansion

Insider North West // December 22, 2015

BAE Systems has started work on a major expansion of its F-35 manufacturing facility at Samlesbury in Lancashire to prepare for a rise in production of the combat jet.

Cliff Robson, senior vice-president for the F-35 Lightning II programme at BAE Systems, said the F-35 programme would "provide economic value to the region for decades to come".

The 48,438 sq ft extension follows the government's recent commitment to 138 F-35 Lightning II STOVL variant aircraft for the Royal Air Force and the Royal Navy. The government is also accelerating procurement of the aircraft, making 24 available on the new Queen Elizabeth and Prince of Wales aircraft carriers by 2023.

The expansion work, which is due to be completed in January 2017, is the final part of a three-phase plan for the facility. When the newly extended facility is complete, it will be capable of manufacturing 160 aircraft sets per year, which represents an increase of approximately 250 per cent on current levels.

Read the full article from Insider North West.