The UK has been named as a global repair hub for the F-35 fighter jet.
The Ministry of Defence (MoD) said the hub would provide repair, overhaul, and upgrade services, and is expected to generate hundreds of millions of pounds for the industry.
“This establishes Britain as a hub for all European F-35s and is hugely positive news for our high-tech and innovative defence industry. It is an endorsement of the skills and capabilities the UK offers; will help create hundreds of high-end jobs, safeguard thousands more and be a substantial boost to UK exports,” said defence secretary Michael Fallon.
“Building on the strong foundations of Britain’s pre-eminent and enduring defence partnership with the US, this decision supports British jobs and helps keep Britain safer and more secure.”
According to the MoD the programme could unlock more than £2bn in future F-35 support revenue.
The work – centred in Wales – will be based on a partnership enterprise between the Defence Electronics and Components Agency, BAE Systems, and Northrop Grumman.
Alun Cairns, secretary of state for Wales, said: “[This] announcement ... confirms our status as a leader in aviation technology.”