Plant & Works Engineering
Eurofighter boost for UK industry
Published:  15 June, 2009

The RAF is in talks to finalise the purchase of a third batch of Eurofighter Typhoon aircraft after Prime Minister Gordon Brown's recent announcement.

The confirmation of a further batch of Eurofighter orders is a major boost for UK manufacturing which will help safeguard jobs and protect the supply chain in a key industrial sector according to the organisation representing Britain's manufacturers.

EEF, the manufacturers" organisation believes that the decision is a major boost at a time when manufacturing has been hit hard by the current downturn. However, while welcoming the decision EEF believes it also highlights the need for government to take a fresh approach to strategic procurement in order to provide more certainty for key sectors in the long term.

Commenting on the decision, EEF director of policy, Steve Radley, said: "The decision will provide some much needed certainty over orders for the UK's defence sector and will help safeguard skilled jobs throughout the supply chain.

"However it also underlines the need for a new approach which gives industry clear signals on where the government's long-term priorities lie. Industry will be watching closely to see whether things are genuinely moving in this direction or whether talk of a more activist approach proves to be another false dawn."

At peak production, the Typhoon programme will help sustain 5000 jobs at BAE Systems, 4000 throughout Rolls-Royce and its supply chain, and up to 16,000 in total in the UK aerospace industry.

The Prime Minister said: "I am pleased that we are moving forward with this important programme with our partner nations. This will strengthen Britain's defence capability, and will create new jobs in advanced manufacturing that Britain needs to emerge stronger and fitter from this global downturn."