Lancashire built jets set to patrol over this year’s World Cup as BAE Systems’ sees half year sales soar

BAE Systems staff in Lancashire are working to deliver Qatar’s first Typhoon jet later this year, as it revealed strong first half trading.

Qatar has ordered 24 Typhoon jets in a £5bn deal made in 2017 and in its trading update, BAE Systems said work was progressing. The aircraft made at Warton is undergoing test flights in its Qatar Emiri Air Force colours before delivery.

The RAF is currently training Qatari pilots and its Typhoons are set to provide air cover for the football World Cup this winter.

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BAE Systems said that as well as those orders, the 20 new Typhoons for Spain, worth £500m to the UK operation, and and increase from Germany were boosting its order book.

Nathan Collins of Republic of Ireland battles for possession with Ahmed Alaaeldin of Qatar during the International Friendly match between Republic of Ireland and Qatar. Typhoons built in Lancashire will provide air security during this winter's World Cup in Qatar

It has also delivered 74 F-35 rear fuselages from its Samlesbury facility for various customers and had secured an 11 year contract worth £590m to provide long-term support for the UK’s Hawk fleet.

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It said its six month underlying profit to the end of June rose to £1.22bn from £1.03bn in 2021, up 8.2 per cent, while sales rose 5 per cent to £10.58bn. Its order intake for the period was up 80 per cent to £17.98bn thanks to the new orders.

The strong results were predicted the full year 2021 figures earlier this year when its sales hit £21.3bn.

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Staff assembling a Eurofighter Typhoon aircraft at BAE Systems' Warton plant in Lancashire

Charles Woodburn, BAE Systems chief Executive, said: “Trading in the first half has been in line with expectations delivering strong order intake and good operational performance.

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“Our diverse portfolio, together with our focus on programme execution, cash generation and efficiencies are helping us navigate the current macroeconomic challenges and position us well for sustained top line and margin growth in the coming years. We see further opportunities to enhance the medium- and long term outlook as our customers commit to increased defence spending to address the elevated threat environment.

“The positive outcome of the UK pension triennial review, along with our performance and confidence in the outlook enable us to maintain our guidance, continue to invest in our business and progress our ESG agenda whilst increasing returns to our shareholders.

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“Good operational performance, execution on our strategy and confidence in the outlook enables us today to announce a 5 per cent increase in the interim dividend as well as initiating a new, three-year share buyback programme for up to £1.5bn.”