Belfast firm Thales secures £93m MoD weapons contract
The Ministry of Defence has signed a new £93m contract with Belfast-based arms manufacturer Thales Air Defence.
The deal, which the defence contractor said will help sustain around 100 jobs in east Belfast, will develop new missile systems for the British Army and Royal Marines.
The MoD said the project will provide modern enhancements to the high velocity and lightweight multi-role missile systems used by British armed forces.
It said the weapons are designed to provide rapid interception of a wide range of air and surface threats. The upgrades include thermal imaging to enable the missile systems to be used 24 hours a day and ‘Friend or Foe’ identification, which will “maximise intelligence on potential threats and targets”.
MoD minister Stuart Andrew said the contract would also support many more jobs in the supply chain and enhance defence for years to come.
He added: "Defence investment benefits every corner of our United Kingdom and Northern Ireland is no exception. This £93m deal will secure over 100 local jobs and demonstrates the ingenuity and skill of Northern Irish industry.
“In these uncertain times, it is crucial we protect ourselves from the rapidly evolving spectrum of global threats. These cutting-edge missile systems will fortify our military advantage over adversaries and help protect UK Armed Forces across the world and into the next decade."