I am pleased to announce that the Ministry of Defence has signed a contract worth around £450 million with BAE Systems for the production of, and associated logistic spares for, 28 Hawk 128 aircraft providing the Advanced Jet Trainer for our armed forces. The contract underlines the Government's commitment to sustain core aerospace industrial skills and technologies in the UK as set out in the Defence Industrial Strategy.
The procurement of this world class aircraft will enable our RAF and RN fast jet aircrew to develop the skills they need to exploit the capability of the UK's fast jet fleet such as Typhoon. It is also good news for BAE Systems and its supplier and employees at BAEs' Brough factory. The first aircraft will be delivered in 2008.