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BAE SYSTEMS announces 40 million investment in Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) production and assembly facilities

15 Jul 2002

As part of its commitment to the System Development and Demonstration (SDD) phase of the Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) programme, BAE Systems has today announced a planned 40 million investment into key JSF manufacturing and assembly facilities in the United Kingdom.

The 40 million investment programme will involve three BAE Systems sites in the North West and North East of the country - Samlesbury, Warton in Lancashire and Brough near Hull.

The core investment, of more than 36 million will go into manufacturing floorspace and facilities at the Advanced Manufacturing site, and will include machine tools, enhanced composites capability as well as a new 5,000 square metre production assembly facility.

Following successful planning approval by the local authorities, work has now begun at Samlesbury on the construction of the new facility. Initial works are focussed on preparing the site and diverting existing services which traverse the building location. The building construction is planned to start immediately.

This 11.1 million facility will be located adjacent to the existing Eurofighter Assembly building and will consist of temperature controlled production floorspace as well as integral shipping and receiving annexes. The temperature controlled environment enables the achievement of a step change in build accuracy required for this Low Observable aircraft. The facility will house the aft fuselage and empennage assembly cells and a range of advanced manufacturing and test facilities.

Completion of the building programme is scheduled for July 2003.

Other investment at Samlesbury includes:

* Machining, with the purchase of a Large 5-Axis Hard Metal Machine, and a 5-Axis High Performance Aluminium Machining Centre, both required for the manufacture of complex build critical components.
* Development of the existing composites facility, with new technology and equipment, which will allow BAE Systems to deploy innovative composite processes such as Fibre Placement and Resin Transfer Moulding which for the first time will be applied by BAE Systems on a military aircraft programme.
* Investment in a dedicated ICY (Interchangeability) Machining Facility, which allows the team to produce airframe structures to the strict and demanding standards required by a Low Observable aircraft.

The BAE Systems Warton site will see investment of over 3 million in the existing simulation and wind tunnel facilities, as well as improvements to engineering accommodation for the Warton based element of the JSF team.

Investment at the BAE Systems Brough site involves developing existing structural test facilities to support specific requirements of the JSF programme, enabling BAE Systems to address its structural test programme workshare commitments.

Martin Taylor, BAE Systems Joint Strike Fighter Vice President and Deputy Programme Manager, said: "This investment in the SDD phase of the programme is testament to our commitment to the JSF Programme and to the innovative and world leading work that we are carrying on in conjunction with our partners Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman. It will give the BAE Systems JSF team the technological capabilities it needs to deliver fully fitted, equipped and tested structures for final assembly to a standard of finish consistent with this class of system. More importantly, the investments made today will prepare us for the future as we look forward to ensuring the JSF system provides the US and the UK with the most effective system."

Air Systems Group Managing Director Nigel Whitehead added: "This investment in facilities and technology is another key part of our commitment to developing a world class aircraft manufacturing centre for BAE Systems. It places us at the forefront of military aircraft manufacturing, as a central partner in some of the major key military aircraft programmes in the world today - JSF, Eurofighter, Nimrod, Hawk and Gripen."

If you would like to receive an artist's impression of the new building on Salmesbury site, please e-mail: lisa.hillary-tee@baesystems.com

About BAE SYSTEMS:

BAE Systems is a systems company, innovating for a safer world. BAE Systems employs nearly 100,000 people including Joint Ventures, and has annual sales of around 13 billion. The company offers a global capability in air, sea, land and space with a world-class prime contracting ability supported by a range of key skills. BAE Systems designs, manufactures and supports military aircraft, surface ships, submarines, space systems, radar, avionics, communications, electronics, guided weapon systems and a range of other defence products. BAE Systems is dedicated to making the intelligent connections needed to deliver innovative solutions.

For further information please contact:

Lisa Hillary-Tee, Communications Manager JSF, BAE Systems
Tel: +44 (0) 1252 384934 Mob: +44 (0) 7801 718994
lisa.hillary-tee@baesystems.com



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