Luke Pollard MP has called on the government to bring forward procurement of new Hawk jets for the Red Arrows to protect jobs at BAE Systems. The company last week announced that they would be making 2,000 redundancies across the country, including at the plant in Hull that makes the Hawk jet training aircraft used by the world-famous Red Arrows RAF display team.
The jets used by the Red Arrows are due to be retired from service in 2020 and, to date, no replacements have been ordered by the Ministry of Defence. A factory in Hull makes the Hawk aircraft and risks losing the skilled jobs needed to build Hawk jets if new orders are not placed.
The campaign is being led by Diana Johnson MP and Emma Hardy MP, and Luke Pollard has added his support, along with other MPs, to bringing forward orders for new Red Arrows Hawk jets to secure the display team’s future and safeguard jobs.
Luke Pollard, Labour and Co-operative MP for Plymouth Sutton and Devonport said:
“The Red Arrows are world famous and showcase not only the best of British engineering but of RAF skill too. The current jets are due to be retired in 2020 and we need new replacements now. It seems illogical for the skilled jobs to be lost, putting at risk future production just before the Government needs to order new Hawk jets for the Red Arrows. I’m backing the call to bring forward those orders, safeguard jobs and ensure the Red Arrows have the world-class jets they need to continue their amazing flying.”
The Red Arrows are currently based at RAF Scampton and perform across the South West each year at festivals, carnivals, air tattoos and events.