British government to award £48m contract to Belfast plant

Investment to sustain 60 high-end jobs in advanced weapons system design, manufacturing

Northern Ireland’s First Minister Peter Robinson is expected to attend the Thales factory to announce that the Ministry of Defence in London has awarded a £48 million(€60 million) contract to Thales Belfast to design and manufacture a new missile system for the Royal Navy’s attack helicopters. Photograph: Alan Betson / The Irish Times

Northern Ireland’s First Minister Peter Robinson is expected to attend the Thales factory to announce that the Ministry of Defence in London has awarded a £48 million(€60 million) contract to Thales Belfast to design and manufacture a new missile system for the Royal Navy’s attack helicopters. Photograph: Alan Betson / The Irish Times

Mon, Jun 16, 2014, 09:13

Senior British government and Stormont Executive figures are expected at an east Belfast missile development factory later this morning to announce a major contract.

Minister for Defence Equipment, Support and Technology Philip Dunne will be at the Thales factory to announce that the Ministry of Defence in London has awarded a £48 million(€60 million) contract to Thales Belfast to design and manufacture a new missile system for the Royal Navy’s attack helicopters. Stormont First Minister Peter Robinson and industry minister Arlene Foster are also expected to attend.

The contract will sustain around 60 expert jobs in advanced weapons system design and manufacturing.

A similar number of jobs will be sustained throughout the programme’s supply chain.

The announcement has been expected by staff at the Thales plant for some time and will ease fears of redundancies at the factory.

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