UK lands F-35 fighter jet assignment worth £500m
The UK has landed a new assignment from the US Department of Defense worth around £500m.
The nine-figure deal was awarded to the aircraft repair hub for F-35 fighter jets Sealand, North Wales, where it will support hundreds of new jobs.
It will see workers at the MoD’s Defence & Electronics Components Agency (DECA) carrying out crucial maintenance, repair and upgrade services on a wider range of F-35 avionic systems.
In 2016, it was announced that the UK would be the location of the global repair hub for the first tranche of F-35 components, building on the Sealand Support Services Ltd (SSSL) joint venture struck between DECA, aerospace giant BAE Systems and defence tech company Northrop Grumman.
SSSL’s services for F-35 aircraft are due to commence from 2020.
Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson said: “This announcement keeps Britain right at the centre of the global F-35 partnership, the largest defence programme in history.
“It is a vote of confidence in our highly-skilled workforce and high-tech industry that provides us and our allies with the very best of what British engineering has to offer.”
He continued: “This deal builds on the strong foundations of the UK’s enduring defence partnership with the US. It is a significant boost for British jobs and those highly-skilled workers who enable these world-class fighter jets to continue keeping us safe and secure.”
In November last year, Sheffield architects HLM won a national competition to design a new £160m base for F-35 fighter jets in the UK.
It follows a £135m MoD contract, awarded in 2017 to a joint venture between building firms Galliford Try and Lagan Construction, for a new F-35 hangar at RAF Marham in Norfolk.
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