Defence Secretary Boosts Welsh Jobs On Visit to Aston Martin and GDUK
(Source: UK Ministry of Defence; issued April 6, 2017)
General Dynamics UK, which is already developing the Ajax family of tracked armored combat vehicles for the British Army, has now won a £330 million contract to develop the army’s new Morpheus battlefield communications network. (UK MoD photo)
The Defence Secretary today announced a £330 million contract to design the next-generation of battlefield communications on a visit to Wales.

The Defence Secretary, Sir Michael Fallon, today announced a £330 million contract to design the next-generation of battlefield communications on a visit to Wales. Sir Michael also formally handed over the St Athan ‘Super Hangar’ to Aston Martin.

Both the Morpheus battlefield communications contract with General Dynamics UK (GDUK), and Aston Martin’s investment in St Athan will create and support a thousand jobs across south Wales.

Visiting the General Dynamics UK (GDUK) site at Oakdale, the Defence Secretary spoke of the MOD’s new Morpheus programme, a £330 million investment in innovative new tactical communications systems for our Armed Forces, which will support 250 high-tech jobs in South Wales.

While in Wales, the Defence Secretary handed over the former MOD Super Hangar to Aston Martin at a special ceremony at St Athan. The redevelopment of the site into a state of the art manufacturing facility for the British luxury carmaker will directly create 750 new jobs in South Wales, and support thousands more as production starts in 2019.


Speaking at General Dynamics UK’s Oakdale site in South Wales, Defence Secretary Sir Michael Fallon said: “This £330 million contact for the next generation of battlefield communications, supporting 250 high skilled jobs, underlines the importance of Wales to our Armed Forces.

“Last year, MOD spent £870 million with Welsh businesses helping to build a stronger economy and keep Britain safe.

“As well as investing in new equipment we are also investing in a Better Defence Estate for our Armed Forces. Aston Martin’s decision to build a new facility on land we no longer need will bring more high skilled jobs to Wales.”

This state of the art communications system will be integrated on to the Army’s new Ajax vehicles, currently under construction by GDUK, and allow British troops to rapidly deploy new radios and applications to connect with commanders and allies. The system will also be used by the RAF and Royal Navy on a range of platforms, and provide our personnel with modernised command and control networks they need to keep Britain safe.

Secretary of State for Wales, Alun Cairns said: “Wales is quickly establishing a strong reputation as an important hub of high skilled manufacturing. General Dynamics UK has long been instrumental in putting Wales on the front line when it comes to supporting our country’s defence and security needs.

“And, thanks to the close partnerships between the UK Government and the prestigious Aston Martin brand, the St Athan site is springing back to life as a significant centre of employment, bringing with it valuable skills and a lasting legacy for the entire region.

“Today’s announcements are testament to this Government’s determination to strengthen every part of the United Kingdom, and are a strong indicator that Wales is open for business, open for trade, and open for investment.

The MOD is investing £3.5 billion in Ajax, which will be in service with the Army from 2020. With new innovative equipment like Ajax and Morpheus, and new ways of working the Army of the future will be able to successfully tackle a wider range of threats and keep the UK safe.

Army Chief Information Officer, Major General Richard Semple, said: “Becoming the owner of architecture for MOD’s tactical command and control systems is critical to getting up-to-date, ever evolving, battle-winning technology into the hands of our soldiers, sailors and airmen on operations; this is a critical component of digital transformation in the Army and Land Environment.”

The Defence Secretary also met with some of GDUK’s apprentices, who play an important role in the Defence Industry. The MOD is the largest provider of apprentices in the UK, enrolling 14,200 new apprentices across the Armed Services and in the civil service over the last year, and is committed to encouraging defence suppliers to support apprenticeships across their business.

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General Dynamics UK Awarded £330 Million Contract to Develop Next-Generation Battlefield Network for British Army
(Source: General Dynamics UK; issued April 05, 2017)
OAKDALE, South Wales --– General Dynamics United Kingdom Limited has been awarded a £330 million contract from the UK Ministry of Defence to design and develop the next-generation tactical communication and information system as the initial phase of the MORPHEUS programme. The system will be used to plan, deploy, manage and monitor communications and information for the Army. It will allow users to integrate new radios, applications and other system components faster and with greater ease.

General Dynamics will implement a new architectural approach, known as Evolve to Open (EvO), which will evolve the Bowman tactical communication (BCIP 5.6) capability into an open, modular system. The system will connect deployed tactical forces to their commanders, give improved access to powerful operational IT and simplify the user experience. The open system approach allows new technologies to be rapidly integrated to tackle emerging threats and enhance interoperability with allies.

Defence Secretary Sir Michael Fallon said: “This £330 million contact for the next generation of battlefield communications, supporting 250 high skilled jobs, underlines the importance of Wales to our Armed Forces. Backed by a rising defence budget, last year MOD spent £870 million with Welsh businesses helping to build a stronger economy and keep Britain safe.”

Brigadier Richard Spencer, Head of the MoD’s Battlefield and Tactical Communications and Information System Delivery Team said “The Transition Partner contract is just the first of many procurement projects to deliver the MORPHEUS Evolve to Open baseline over the next few years. This first contract opens the door for numerous industry opportunities to contribute to the next generation of battlefield communications.”

Chief Operating Officer of General Dynamics UK, Steve Rowbotham, commented: "Having delivered and supported the Bowman tactical communication and information system for the past 15 years from our site in South Wales, this contract marks the next chapter in our history. We are delighted that we will continue to develop and grow our existing employee skills base, whilst providing the UK Armed Forces with a leading-edge battlefield communication system.”

The contract creates 125 new jobs as well as sustaining the jobs of 125 highly-skilled engineers at General Dynamics UK’s headquarters in Oakdale, South Wales.

The EvO contract is the first to be awarded for the MORPHEUS programme, which will give UK Armed Forces across all three services modernised command and control networks using the latest technology.

General Dynamics UK opened its first facility in South Wales in 2001, after winning the contract to deliver the Bowman tactical communications system programme. Since then, the business has continued to expand and invest in the area, and now has three facilities in Oakdale and Merthyr Tydfil, which is home to the newly-opened Armoured Fighting Vehicle Assembly, Integration and Testing facility.


General Dynamics UK works in partnership with the United Kingdom Ministry of Defence (MoD) providing the nation’s primary land capabilities including, amongst others, Bowman, the British Armed Forces tactical communications programme, and AJAX, the replacement for the British Army’s reconnaissance vehicle fleet. The company also delivers avionics equipment used in rotary and fixed wing platforms, highly integrated mission and video management systems, flexible stores management systems, data link processing and video and data recorders for UK and international customers.

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