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East Belfast MP Gavin Robinson has welcomed the announcement that Spirit Aero Systems Belfast have been selected to design and manufacture a prototype for the UK's first fleet of uncrewed fighter aircraft.

The contract is a three-year deal that will support more than 100 jobs in Belfast.

Mr Robinson, who is a member of Parliament's Defence Select Committee said, "This is a very significant announcement for Spirit and for advanced manufacturing in northern Ireland. This project is at the cutting-edge of technology and highlights the capabilities present within Spirit and the workforce in Belfast.

This is the first major announcement since Spirit acquired the Belfast plant from Bombardier and it represents a very exciting development which points to further exciting opportunities in the future.

The importance of defence contracts to our local economy should not be underestimated. This is particularly true within East Belfast where there are 27 companies based in the constituencies that are part of the Aerospace, Defence and Security Industry. Whilst this announcement is very good news for Spirit, many other companies have been hit very hard during the pandemic and continue to lobby government for UK-wide support to this vital sector of our economy."