Thousands of jobs are to be created in the UK aerospace industry under Lockheed Martin’s programme to build 3,000 F-35 fighter jets.
The components for the 3,000-strong fleet of F-35 jets are to be built by around 130 different companies in Britain, before the planes are finally assembled in the United States.
The 25,000 jobs will sustained over a period of around 30 years according to the leader of the contractorship Lockheed Martin, and will increase British GDP by a predicted £28.7bn over the period between 2009 and 2036.
Work will mainly be carried out at the BAE Systems site at Samlesbury, Lancashire, where the fuselage and other components will be manufactured.
Other companies that will manufacture components for the new fighter jets are those with sites at Denham in Buckinghamshire, Birkenhead in Wirral, Lostock in Lancashire, Wimborne in Dorset, Bristol and Southampton.
Paul Livingston, director of aeronautics for Lockheed Martin in the UK, told the press: “The basic core programme of F-35 is going to build 3,173 aircraft for multiple users. For UK companies, there are about 130 of them that have won work for the programme, they’ll build the components for all 3,173 of those aircraft and that means roughly for the UK economy about £30 billion in GDP and around 25,000 jobs for the next 30 years.”