Published 10 May 2024

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UK service personnel across the British Army, Royal Air Force and Royal Navy will continue to receive unparalleled worldwide protection through first-class respirators made in Wiltshire, thanks to a contract procured by DE&S worth up to £38 million.

The four-year deal, plus five years of options, for the continued supply and in-service support of General Service Respirators (GSRs) has been awarded to Avon Protection, leaders in chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear (CBRN) personal protective equipment.

The contract sustains 200 highly skilled jobs at the company’s factory in Melksham and supports those in its primarily UK-based supply chain, whilst maintaining the global safety of all UK Armed Forces personnel and contributing to the continued prosperity and security of our nation.

Richard Bloomfield, DE&S Head of CBRN, said:

“We welcome the award of this contract, which will ensure continued support of the respiratory protection available to our Armed Forces. We have worked with Avon Protection on supporting GSR for the past six years and look forward to continuing this relationship, offering high levels of protection to our troops across the world.”

Avon Protection was first awarded the contract to supply and support the GSRs in 2018. Since then, it has supplied almost 100,000 GSRs to UK MOD users.

The new deal ensures the nation maintains sovereign protection capability through domestic production, research and development and carries five further 12-month option periods.

Steve Elwell, President of Avon Protection, said:

“We are proud to have secured this new contract with the UK MOD, reaffirming our commitment to providing sovereign capability and unparalleled protection for those who tirelessly defend our nation. We remain dedicated to delivering excellence so our protectors can complete their mission and come home safely, every time.”

Designed and manufactured to the UK MOD’s precise specifications, the twin-canister, single-visor GSRs provide high-performance filtration protection for users operating in CBRN threat environments.

Jos Sclater, Chief Executive Officer, Avon Protection plc, added:

“This award demonstrates the strength of our technology and our commitment to protecting those who protect us by providing a world-leading sovereign CBRN protection capability from our facility in Wiltshire.

“As we have seen with the reported deployment of chemical agents in Ukraine and in other recent conflicts, the highest grade CBRN protection is critical to operational capability for warfighters in the evolving reality of near-peer, hybrid warfare.”