By Benjamin Katz
LONDON--A consortium of manufacturing giants, including plane maker Airbus SE, defense manufacturer BAE Systems PLC and engine-maker Rolls-Royce Holdings PLC, have agreed to build more than 10,000 ventilators to help tackle the coronavirus pandemic.
The VentilatorChallengeUK group, which also includes the U.K. operations of Ford Motor Co. and packaged-goods giant Unilever PLC, along with various Formula 1 teams, have agreed to combine forces to accelerate the production of a new ventilator design that can be assembled from parts in current production. Work is set to start this week.
A number of staff from various "key company projects" have been moved to lead production of the so-called Rapidly Manufactured Ventilator Systems, the consortium said in a statement on Monday. The units will be built at a series of sites across the country, it said, without identifying which.
A spokesman for the group declined to comment on the timing of first deliveries, adding that the ventilators will be built as fast as possible.
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