Defence Minister Stuart Andrew said:
“Defence investment benefits every corner of our United Kingdom and Northern Ireland is no exception. This £93 million deal will secure over 100 local jobs and demonstrates the ingenuity and skill of Northern Irish industry.
“In these uncertain times, it is crucial we protect ourselves from the rapidly evolving spectrum of global threats. These cutting-edge missile systems will fortify our military advantage over adversaries and help protect UK Armed Forces across the world and into the next decade.”
Thales has a long and illustrious presence in Belfast dating back to 1936. Thales in Belfast is a world leader in the design and development of light weight weapons for tactical air, land and sea platforms.
The company has over 500 local employees and has benefited from hundreds of millions of investment from the Ministry of Defence in recent years. The Belfast office contributed to Thales UK’s record exports in 2017 which were worth over £500 million. The local economy also benefitted from a £6 million investment from Thales Alenia Space in 2016 which transformed the capital city into a global centre for excellence in electric propulsion systems.
Image of the Defence Minister Stuart Andrew, seen here at the Thales UK factory, in Belfast today (25/10/2018).
Northern Ireland plays an important role in UK defence, providing over 4,000 regulars and reserves to the armed forces, supporting over 600 industry jobs and is renowned for its defence manufacturing industry.
Industry has committed to more than double its revenue from the aerospace, defence, security and space activities in the region to over £2 billion a year. Northern Ireland companies are part of the overall Ministry of Defence equipment and support plan to spend £180 billion over the decade to 2026-27 which will enhance prosperity across the UK.