Fylde Jets head for UAE shop window

Hawk T2s  will be at the Dubai Airshow. Below:  Phil Hodge.
Hawk T2s will be at the Dubai Airshow. Below: Phil Hodge.

BAE Systems has secured a prime position in the biggest airshow in the Middle East which starts on Sunday.

A Hawk T2 advanced trainer took off on Saturday morning from Warton to head for Dubai in the United Arab Emirates via Saudi Arabia to show off just what the aircraft makers of the Fylde can do.

Phil Hodge of BAE Systems

Phil Hodge of BAE Systems

It will go on display along with a Typhoon, in the best spot just outside the main exhibition centre at the airshow which is the biggest shopwindow for aircraft in the region.

A Typhoon flown by RAF display ace Jamie Norris will wow the crowds at the four day event set to attract potential customers from all over the Middle East and beyond.

BAE is hoping to sell Typhoon jets to UAE in what could be a crucial order.

Phil Hodge, BAE’s buinsess development director for Hawk and training wil also be flying out to the massive show along with his team to show case the aircraft.

He said: “A lot of existing customers and potential new customers will be at the Dubai Airshow so there area a lot of opportunities to show our capabilities.

“The Hawk T2 is we think the most advanced trainer in the world. It is in service with the RAF and has been selected by Saudi Arabia and Oman and there are opportunities for it in the region and elsewhere around the world.

“If we can turn that into real business then it will be great news for the company, for jobs and for our region.”

He said his team had been planning for the show for seven months.

“We will get to meet people it can be sometimes very difficult to meet. Every morning we will have a stand meeting to prepare for the key delegations and VIP visitors due that day.

“But we also get unexpected visitors which can be anyone from a pilot to a chief of air staff or a defence minister so it can be a real challenge.”

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