Thales Wins Missile Support Contract

(January 23, 2009) -- The Minister of State for Defence Equipment & Support (Min DE&S), Quentin Davies MP, has today announced that Thales UK has been awarded a contract worth more than GBP200m 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. He made the announcement during a visit to the company's Belfast facility, where Starstreak is manufactured and assembled. 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. Accompanied by Alex Dorrian, CEO Thales UK, and Steve Hill, Vice President and Managing Director of Thales UK's air systems business, the Minister was given a tour of the site and given a briefing on the various products being developed there for the UK Armed Forces and for export. The Minister was joined on the tour by Peter Robinson, local site MP, Assembly Member and First Minister for Northern Ireland; and Arlene Foster, Minister of Enterprise, Trade and Investment, Northern Ireland Assembly. Min DE&S also met Trade Union representatives and a range of Thales employees, including apprentices, recent graduates, and staff who have been with the company for over 40 years. 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 GBP200m 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: "It is important to Thales that Quentin Davies MP has been able to visit us in Belfast, a centre of excellence within the global Thales Group. 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."
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Source: Thales
Date: Jan 26, 2009