British Aerospace has won a £386m order for Hawk 100 jet trainers from the Australian air force.
Twelve will be built by BAe at Warton, Lancashire, and Brough, Humberside. The remaining 21 will be built in Australia from British and locally produced parts by Hunter Aerospace.
The deal was announced on Sunday when Australian Prime Minister John Howard visited Warton. The Australian-built aircraft will be manufactured between 2007 and 2025.
The deal ended a week in which BAe joined the US’s Lockheed Martin bid for the Joint Strike Fighter, more than 3,000 of which will be built for the US. Up to 60 may be needed to replace the Royal Navy’s Sea Harrier. The British Government has committed £120m to the fighter’s development.
BAe said it would contribute systems integration skills, advanced low cost manufacturing and short take-off and vertical landing experience and technology to Lockheed Martin’s bid.
Lockheed Martin is competing against a Boeing team in the Joint Strike Fighter concept demonstrator phase.
This is worth $718.8m to Lockheed which will build two aircraft.
A winning consortium will be chosen in 2001 and the Joint Strike Fighter will enter service in 2008.