Thales UK in Belfast has won a five year extension to develop and modernise missile systems as part of the Future Air Defence Availability Project.
Specialising in SHORAD – high velocity and lightweight multi role missile systems which can intercept air threats including attacks from jets and helicopters and unmanned drone systems in seconds Thales UK will continue to produce work at their Belfast plant, maintain over 100 people on the project.
Northern Ireland Secretary, Brandon Lewis said:
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.
The SHORAD system comes in three main platforms, shoulder based for the soldiers on the ground, lightwieght multiple launchers for firing from a tripod and a self propelled launcher which can fire up to eight missiles from an armoured vehicle.
The contract extension worth nearly £100mil not only confirms that Northern Ireland plays a key role in the United Kingdom’s defence but sets the area as a space for development for other defence contractors looking to set up projects, build expertise and ensure the United Kingdom is investing, researching and creating defences so the British Army can tackle future threats and remain at high readiness to respond quickly to conflicts around the world.