Belfast Telegraph

PM hails Indonesia defence deal

David Cameron has welcomed a deal by defence contractor Thales to supply Indonesia with an integrated air defence system built at its Belfast plant.

The Prime Minister, who visited Indonesia in 2012 in attempt to boost arms sales, said the agreement to supply the ForceShield system and StarStreak air defence missiles was a vindication of the Government's economic strategy.

"This deal worth over £100m is great news for the UK and the aerospace industry, and a strong vote of confidence in this Government's long-term economic plan. It will help secure highly-skilled jobs in Northern Ireland and throughout the supply chain," he said.

"This is precisely the reason why I go on these trade missions to countries like Indonesia, to drum up jobs and investment for our country, and I'm delighted my trip has resulted in a clear win for Thales."

Thales UK chief executive Victor Chavez paid tribute to Mr Cameron for his support in securing the deal.

"I would like to express my gratitude to the Prime Minister for his personal support on this project and the support of the Government - it makes a huge difference to industry and our customers," he said.

Mr Cameron sought to promote defence sales to Indonesia after the previous Labour government had imposed an arms embargo over allegations that British-built Hawk jets were used to bomb civilians in East Timor.

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