French defence group wins €105 contract in Belfast

Thales will modernise air defence systems for the UK military

UK defence minister Stuart Andrew announces the contract award in Belfast

UK defence minister Stuart Andrew announces the contract award in Belfast

 

Thales, the French-owned defence group, has won a £93 million (€105 million) order from the UK government, which it says will safeguard at least 100 jobs at its facility in the North.

The group employs 500 people at Thales in Belfast, where it designs and develops lightweight weapon systems. The operation also supports a significant supply chain in the North.

The UK ministry of defence has awarded Thales the multimillion contract to modernise and boost the very short-range air defence capability of the British army and Royal Marines.

Thales Belfast will work on enhancing and upgrading missile systems, which are designed to intercept a wide range of air and surface threats such as enemy drones, helicopters and armoured vehicles.

UK defence minister Stuart Andrew said the contract demonstrated “the ingenuity and skill” of industry in the North.

Thales Belfast has won contracts valued at hundreds of millions of pounds from the UK’s ministry of defence in recent years.

Two years ago, Thales invested £6 million in the North to develop a new electric space propulsion integration centre manufacturing facility in Belfast, which was the first of its kind in the UK.