Belfast Telegraph

£3bn deal for marine patrol planes

By Neil Lancefield

The Government is to buy nine maritime patrol aircraft as part of a £3bn, 10-year partnership with Boeing. The Ministry of Defence said the P-8A Poseidon planes will be based at RAF Lossiemouth in Moray to help protect the Trident nuclear weapons system and the UK's two new aircraft carriers.

Boeing will also deliver 50 Apache AH-64E attack helicopters to the British Army under an agreement signed between the US and UK governments.

The collaboration between the UK and Boeing announced at the Farnborough International Airshow in Hampshire is expected to create 2,000 jobs - doubling the US giant's UK workforce.

A new £100m support and training base for the P-8A planes will be built at RAF Lossiemouth.

Boeing said it will make the UK its European base for training, maintenance, repair and overhaul across its defence fixed-wing and rotary platforms.

It also pledged to increase the bid opportunities it offers to UK suppliers in an attempt to double their work with the manufacturer.

A further £365m worth of aerospace research and development projects have been approved to boost the UK's position in the sector.

David Cameron, who visited the air show and viewed a flypast featuring an F-35 Lightning II stealth fighter and the Red Arrows, said: "Whatever uncertainties our country faces, I want the message to go out loud and clear: the UK will continue to lead the world in both civil and defence aerospace.

"We aren't just open for investment, we are a place the global aerospace industry wants to do business - as Boeing's long-term partnership with the UK proves.

"It's also important to put Government investment where it counts. That's why we are jointly funding the new R&D fund with the aerospace industry and why I'm pleased we have signed the contract."

Belfast Telegraph