Thales UK has won a £98.4 million contract to maintain Short-Range Air Defence (SHORAD) capabilities for the British Army and Royal Marines.
The Ministry of Defence say that SHORAD is made up of “High Velocity and Lightweight Multi-role Missile systems that can intercept air threats including fast jets, attack helicopters and unmanned air systems in a matter of seconds”.
Thales UK won the initial contract in 2018, helping to modernise and develop the missile systems as part of the Future Air Defence Availability Project (F-ADAPT).
This latest announcement confirms a five-year extension to the contract, sustaining over one hundred jobs at Thales UK’s Belfast site and within the wider Northern Ireland supply chain.
Northern Ireland Secretary Brandon Lewis was quoted as saying:
“Northern Ireland has a proud history as a world leader in defence engineering and innovation. Today’s announcement shows again the level of confidence in Northern Ireland as a great place to do business.
During these uncertain times, I am delighted that the investment of over £98-million will protect over 100 skilled jobs in Belfast. I would like to congratulate all those involved who have secured this vital investment.”
Defence Minister Jeremy Quin was also quoted as saying:
“This contract ensures the vital air defence capabilities, capable of dealing with a multitude of threats, are maintained and readily available to deploy.
The £98.4-million investment is the second major contract awarded to Northern Ireland’s defence industry in less than three months highlighting Northern Ireland’s important contribution to the delivery of our critical defence capabilities.”