Located alongside the advanced manufacturing hub in Samlesbury, Lancashire, it will be home each year to nearly 200 apprentices in training recruited by our Military Air & Information business.
ASK Academy
Academy for Skills & Knowledge. BAE Systems has opened the doors to its new £15.6m training academy which is the single largest investment in skills for the UK’s aerospace sector.


The Academy is equipped with the latest technology, which replicates the equipment used in our manufacturing facilities and engineering labs, where world-leading combat aircraft including Eurofighter Typhoon and the F-35 Lightning II are produced.
This includes:
  • A manufacturing Kuka robot cell identical to the one found in BAE Systems' advanced manufacturing line, producing parts for Eurofighter Typhoon and F-35 jets;
  • A virtual reality cave, used in a training environment for the first time, which allows people to mimic any process from enhancing technology on a military jet simulating building major infrastructure;
  • 3D printers to teach skills in designing and rapid prototyping of parts, which is increasingly used in modern manufacturing;
  • A carbon fibre cleanroom to help trainees understand the materials used in Eurofighter Typhoon and F-35 Lightning II aircraft;
  • A full-size Hawk jet trainer to give workers the opportunity to familiarise themselves with the aircraft used by Air Forces across the world.

Lifelong learning

The Academy is the learning hub for continuing development of all employees in our military air and information business equipped with classrooms and open plan study areas.
Every year we support 3,000 employees with professional development, including 300 in Lean Learning training and the facility will be the new home for this training.


STEM commitment

The Academy’s Education Station offers an exciting learning area to inspire visiting school children to consider careers in science, technology, engineering and maths.
This includes:
  • Eye-tracker technology used in futuristic pilot’s helmet such as Striker II.
  • The chances to ‘fly’ Eurofighter Typhoon through a low-level flying route.
  • The latest innovations from our Military Aircraft programmes.
The Academy will also act as a collaborative skills hub for the North West Engineering and Manufacturing sector, enabling BAE Systems to work alongside industry and academia to improve working across the region.


The Academy for Skills & Knowledge is a £15.6m investment by our Military Air & Information business opened in December 2016.
Designed and built in three years, the Academy utilises the knowledge and experience of the Company’s training staff to provide the very best learning environment.  
From 2015, it undertook an 18-month construction programme, which saw 450 tonnes of steel, 6,000 tonnes of concrete and more than 100 miles of wiring, create the building.
The 7,400m2 building is approximately the size of a football pitch and is located in the Samlesbury Aerospace Enterprise Zone alongside our advanced manufacturing hub.
Academy for Skills and Knowledge - Time lapse
It was designed and built in just three years, utilising the knowledge and experience of the Company’s training staff to provide the very best training environment.  
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David Coates
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Andrew McDowell
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