BAE Systems has announced a substantial £130m increase in its munitions supply order from the Ministry of Defence (MOD), taking the total contract value to £410m.

This augmentation comes in the wake of the MOD’s decision to upscale the previously announced £280m supply contract from July.

The comprehensive order from Defence Equipment and Support will be facilitated through BAE Systems’ facilities located in Washington, Tyne and Wear, and Glascoed, South Wales.

A notable outcome of this contract will be the creation of over 200 new highly skilled job opportunities in the North of England and South Wales. This will add to the current strength of the company’s 1,200-personnel munitions workforce in the UK.

Speaking on the new orders, Glynn Plant, Managing Director of the Munitions business at BAE Systems, remarked, “Our teams are increasing production rates, investing in people and new facilities and maximising shift patterns to meet the enhanced demand whilst ensuring every shell meets our exceptionally high standards.”

Reflecting on the geopolitical landscape and the importance of this decision, Minister for Defence Procurement, James Cartlidge, stated, “As the UK continues to back Ukraine’s resistance of Russia’s illegal invasion, it’s vital we ramp up our sovereign munitions production. This contract will further bolster ammunition stockpiles, whilst supporting our defence industry and backing hundreds of highly-skilled UK jobs.”

This new arrangement amplifies the existing £2.4bn 15-year partnering agreement between BAE Systems and the MOD. The added orders will bolster the production of vital defence stocks, such as 155mm artillery shells, 30mm medium calibre rounds, and 5.56mm ammunition. Not only will this significantly reinforce the British Army’s heavy munitions reserve, but it will also complement the Army’s newest weapon systems and address the rising demand for small arms ammunition.

The expanded £410m contract will facilitate further investment in the defence sector. Key areas of investment include an additional 155mm machining line in Washington, Tyne & Wear, the establishment of a novel explosive filling facility in Glascoed, South Wales, and the revival of 30mm medium calibre manufacturing capabilities at both Washington and Glascoed locations.

Avatar photo
George has a degree in Cyber Security from Glasgow Caledonian University and has a keen interest in naval and cyber security matters and has appeared on national radio and television to discuss current events. George is on Twitter at @geoallison
Notify of

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Monkey spanker
Monkey spanker (@guest_752490)
7 months ago

That’s great news, especially for north of England and Wales.
It seems there will be a big demand on 155mm shells for quite a while to fill not only what Ukraine needs urgently but to refill nato countries stocks.
With the increasing variety in ammunition sizes being brought into the forces I’d imagine having lines that can change sizes quickly may become important.

Dern (@guest_752526)
7 months ago
Reply to  Monkey spanker

Just having the capacity period is important. If we have people who can make 155 shells it will always be easier to tech them to make 120mm shells than have to teach people from scratch.

David Lloyd
David Lloyd (@guest_752503)
7 months ago

We should never have closed the Royal Ordnance Factories. Particularly ROF Fazakerley, ROF Enfield and ROF Maltby, which made small arms such as the bolt-action SMLE and the Lee Enfield No4 Mk 2 – known as the “303”.

Ian Skinner
Ian Skinner (@guest_752510)
7 months ago
Reply to  David Lloyd

I grew up to the sound of machine gun fire as weapons were tested at Enfield: A crying shame that it was closed- there isn’t even a decent museum there now.

David Lloyd
David Lloyd (@guest_752561)
7 months ago
Reply to  Ian Skinner

You might have heard the Bren light machine gun being tested. ROF Enfield adapted the (originally Czech made) Bren to 7.62mm standard NATO round after WW2.

Acclaimed as one of the best light machine guns of WW2, the Bren even saw service in the Falklands with 40 Commando RM carrying them. A few last saw service in the first Gulf war in 1991

DH (@guest_752797)
7 months ago
Reply to  Ian Skinner

My uncle used to run a market stall near the main entrance in the 60’s. Memories a bit faded, I think I remember the weapon testing. 🤔👍

T J G (@guest_752731)
7 months ago
Reply to  David Lloyd

I started my working life at ROF Barnbow, Leeds. The privatisation has resulted in reduced or no capacity in certain areas and the reduced associated expertise.
It seem strange passing Barnbow housing estate and Woolwich Arsenal as a housing estate with a TESCO Express.
Still with an ever reducing armed forces…….

Jon (@guest_752508)
7 months ago

Nice to see some Defence money going outside the usual regions, the North East in particular. It’s about time that thought was given to levelling up.

russell s thomas
russell s thomas (@guest_752572)
7 months ago

30mm calibre is great . What does uk use 30mm for ?. Anyone know if uk produces the 5.56 7.62 50cal rounds which are standard for vehicles , infantry and other weapons .
And 40mm for the new ajax ?

Mr Bell
Mr Bell (@guest_752579)
7 months ago

Warrior, Scimitar (some probably in reserve stocks) hopefully some air defence self propelled guns- we could do with some 30mm air defence guns. Also RN DS30m- widely fitted.
UK produces 5.56 and 7.62mm ammo as well as 12.75mm so yes all small arms and machine gun rounds are produced in UK thanks.

Monkey spanker
Monkey spanker (@guest_753080)
7 months ago
Reply to  Mr Bell

I think some scimitars are going to Ukraine. They are great vehicles. That fact the chieftain included it in his top 5 tanks speaks volumes.

Pip Barker
Pip Barker (@guest_752636)
7 months ago

BAE SYSTEMS Roadway Green produce 5.56mm, 7.62mm and 0.5″ and medium calibres 20mm through 30mm ammunition. 40CTA ammunition for the Ajax/Warrior upgrade vehicles falls within the afor mentioned facilities for 155mm.

Mr Bell
Mr Bell (@guest_752578)
7 months ago

This is good news- hopefully will increase industrial capacity- the UK really urgently needs to replenish stockpiles and then maintain stocks at higher levels then pre Ukraine war. We have to be match fit and prepared to face the Ruskfascist/ China and their insidious allies Iran and North Korea.

ExMarine (@guest_753163)
7 months ago
Reply to  Mr Bell

If you take the sheer number of shells Ukraine and Russia have used in the past 18 months, it should tell the government that whatever they are thinking of ordering, they need to quadruple it. Even Russia with a huge stockpile has run short of shells.

B Ferguson
B Ferguson (@guest_754007)
7 months ago

I had thought the UK had closed all domestic ammunition manufacturers and we were dependent on overseas suppliers. Do we still have much capacity left?