Electronics Production | January 28, 2009
Thales wins £200 million MoD contract
Thales UK has been awarded a contract worth more than £200m from the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) to deliver the Air Defence Availability Project (ADAPT) in support of the Starstreak high velocity missile (HVM) system.
Under the terms of the contract, which will sustain up to 100 jobs for the Belfast site in Castleraegh, Thales UK will ensure that a specified level of availability of the Starstreak HVM system is provided to the UK Armed Forces. It also covers the support of all HVM equipment until the scheduled out-of-service date at the end of 2020. Steve Hill, Vice President and Managing Director of Thales UK's Air Systems business, and head of the Belfast site, says: "The ADAPT contract is key to sustaining our current levels of employment and will protect up to 100 highly skilled, technical engineering jobs throughout the life of the project." The Minister for Defence Equipment & Support, comments: "This is an important contract with Thales UK as it ensures the availability of the high velocity missile, a crucial weapon system for the UK Armed Forces. Through this £200m contract we are sustaining technologies within the UK industrial base that are important for our future defence needs, and sustaining up to 100 vital jobs over the next decade. I am committed to providing our Armed Forces with the best possible equipment to deal with a wide range of potential operations." Alex Dorrian, CEO Thales UK, says: "Belfast has supported the MoD for more than 50 years and the MoD is still the main customer for what we do here. We were pleased to be able to show him the type of technology undertaken here in Belfast." Some 530 of Thales UK's 9,000 workforce are based at the Belfast site. The company is an important source of high-tech, high-skill employment in the region and in the last year has recruited around 30 people, including a high number of engineers. The site is planning to recruit around another 40 in 2009.