£93 Million Missile Project Secures Over 100 Belfast Jobs
(Source: UK Ministry of Defence; issued Oct 25, 2018)
Defence Minister Stuart Andrew has announced a multi-million-pound deal to modernise and boost the British Army and Royal Marines’ very short-range air defence capability.
The £93 million Future Air Defence Availability Project (F-ADAPT) was awarded to Thales UK during Minister Andrew’s visit to Belfast today. The contract will secure over 100 jobs in the city and provide the UK Armed Forces with a potent defensive ability.
The project will enhance the High Velocity and Lightweight Multi-role Missile systems which are designed to intercept a wide range of air and surface threats such as enemy drones, helicopters and armoured vehicles. The upgrades include thermal imaging which ensures the High Velocity Missile system can be used 24 hours a day and ‘Friend or Foe’ identification, which will maximise intelligence on potential threats and targets.
The F-ADAPT, secured by the MOD’s procurement agency Defence Equipment and Support (DE&S), will ensure that this critical capability is maintained during peacetime training but can also be rapidly deployed for operations into the 2020s.
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.”
DE&S Director Weapons, Richard Smart said: “The F-ADAPT is crucial in safeguarding our Very Short-Range Air Defence capability and the team at DE&S has worked collaboratively with industry to deliver the enhancements needed to ensure this project continues to support our troops for years to come.”
Thales has a long and illustrious presence in Belfast dating back to 1952. Thales in Belfast is a world leader in the design and development of light weight weapon systems for tactical air, land and sea platforms. The company has over 500 local employees and has secured contracts worth hundreds of millions 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.
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.
Keeping the UK Armed Forces Operational Wherever and Whenever Required
(Source: Thales; issued Oct 25, 2018)
We can all be rightly proud of our armed forces. Efficient, versatile and responsive, we rely on them to protect our national interests, day in, day out. Thales helps the UK Armed Forces with its very short-range air defence capability worldwide during peacetime and whilst on operations.
The story starts back in 2008, when the UK Ministry of Defence set up the Air Defence Availability ProjecT (ADAPT). Thales’s weapon systems operation in Belfast was awarded the STARStreak high velocity missiles (HVM) ADAPT contract, which gave Thales the responsibility of providing the Royal Regiment of Artillery and the Royal Marines with their air defence weapon systems.
The Regiment plays a vital role in the Army, providing close air defence protection for Armoured Infantry Brigades, as well as maintaining a shoulder-launched and lightweight multiple launcher capability to 16 Air Assault Brigade, which is capable of being deployed worldwide at extremely short notice. ADAPT provides them with the availability and readiness for all aspects of the capability, including the vehicle and missile systems. The army will then take delivery of the equipment and take it on exercise. Once the exercise is over, the equipment is returned to Thales for servicing and restoring to readiness.
The missile provided for these challenging operations is the STARStreak HVM. Operating at a speed in excess of Mach 3, it is designed to defeat fast-moving threats and those with short unmasking times. The three-dart ‘hittile’ configuration maximises lethality and the highly-accurate laser beam riding guidance enables engagement of low-signature targets and is immune to all known countermeasures.
As the world is forever changing and innovations continue, new asymmetric threats evolve and Thales is continually working alongside the customer and user to meet their changing needs and ensure our troops are equipped with a modernised capability.
Providing modernised potent defence ability Stuart Andrew MP, Minister for Defence Procurement, visited Thales’s air operations and weapon systems facility in Belfast along with a number of defence suppliers, announcing the Ministry of Defence has awarded a £93 million pound contract to Thales to modernise and boost the critical air defence capability of the British Army and Royal Marines.
The Future Air Defence Availability ProjecT (F-ADAPT) will provide the customer with a modernised and fully supported availability solution with enhanced capabilities. The upgrades include thermal imaging, ensuring the HVM system can be used 24 hours a day for ‘friend or foe’ identification, maximising intelligence on potential threats and targets.
With the ever-evolving threats come new innovations and weapon systems – capabilities are being continually developed. The lightweight multirole missile (LMM) is Thales’s latest missile with a true multirole capability. LMM will now come into service with the Royal Artillery in 2019 and is designed to provide rapid reaction to a wide range of evolving asymmetric threats, both in the air and on the surface.
The weapon systems available to front line soldiers are now capable of defeating the complete target set from enemy drones to helicopters and armoured vehicles. They also have increased flexibility as both STARStreak HVM and LMM systems are designed to be fired from the in-service tactical platforms such as the Stormer fighting vehicle, lightweight multiple launcher and can also be shoulder launched.
Stuart Andrew MP says: “In these uncertain times, it is crucial that 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.”
Richard Smart, DE&S Director Weapons, says: “F-ADAPT is crucial in safeguarding our very short-range air defence capability and the team at DE&S has worked collaboratively with industry to deliver the enhancements needed to ensure this project continues to support our troops for years to come.”
Thales will continue to provide its customers with enhanced capabilities to ensure they are efficient, versatile and responsive, wherever and whenever required.