‘Missiles will help us take the fight to Daesh and protect Britain in a post-Brexit world’ - Defence Secretary unveils half billion investment in weapons at MBDA in Stevenage

PUBLISHED: 13:29 21 April 2017 | UPDATED: 14:10 21 April 2017

Sir Michael Fallon addressing staff at MBDA

Sir Michael Fallon addressing staff at MBDA

Archant

Defence Secretary Sir Michael Fallon visited a weapons firm in Stevenage today to unveil half-a-billion pounds worth of investment in missiles which he said would help Royal Navy ships “take the fight to Daesh”.

Sir Michael Fallon addressing staff at MBDASir Michael Fallon addressing staff at MBDA

On a visit to missile systems firm MBDA, Sir Michael told employees at the Six Hills Way site the products they build would play a vital role in helping ensure Britain remains safe as it plays a “greater global role” following Brexit.

The £539 million investment will provide the supply of missiles to protect Royal Navy aircraft carriers as they are deployed in the Gulf and elsewhere across the world.

Sir Michael said: “This is a company that has built a great reputation in manufacturing the missiles that keep us safe.

“They have given sterling service in our campaigns in Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria which is a testament to the skills of the people who work here.

Sir Michael FallonSir Michael Fallon

“You are strengthening the resolution of this country. We’re leaving the EU, but we will be taking an even greater global role and reaching out to our friends and allies across the world.”

When asked how people in Stevenage who have misgivings about weapons production should feel about the new contracts, he said they should remember “these are the weapons that keep us safe”.

The MOD has awarded a £323m contract for Common Anti-air Modular Missiles which are used to protect Type 23 and future Type 26 warships from attack and add to the British Army’s ground based defence systems.

A £175m order is for five years’ continued support for the Royal Navy’s Sea Viper missile system which protects Type 45 destroyers.

There is also £41m to fit Meteor Air to Air missiles to Typhoons and newly commissioned F-35B Lightning II fighter planes. These aircraft will be used on missions including protecting the UK’s Queen Elizabeth Class aircraft carriers and the rest of the RN fleet from external threats.

After making the announcement, Sir Michael told assembled reporters the government will continue with arms deals with Saudi Arabia as long as they are vetted using the standard procedure for all arms agreements.

The contracts will sustain about 130 jobs at MBDA’s sites at Stevenage, Henlow, Bristol and Bolton.

Sir Michael said the investment is “good news” for Stevenage and met a group of MBDA apprentices whom he praised for their work, saying they would help maintain a “dynamic workforce” into the future.

3 comments

  • I did not spot Mr McPartland there . May be he was busy raking it in from his job at Furniture Village.

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    patrick newman

    Saturday, April 22, 2017

  • When Gaddafi went shopping for weapons at MBDA ten yrs ago, do you think they said NO NO sorry Sir we couldn't possibly sell you £200 million worth of missiles and comms equipment...he said American Express?...we said ..that'll do nicely and you get Airmiles too..more tea vicar?

    Add your comment | Report this comment

    Bob

    Friday, April 21, 2017

  • These are largely anti aircraft weapons that would be deployed in conflicts that nothing to do with the defence of the UK (unless the EU decide to invade). Spoiler alert - announcements in election campaigns must be taken with a pinch of salt. The government still has a big deficit and will be looking for more cuts in November.

    Add your comment | Report this comment

    patrick newman

    Friday, April 21, 2017

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