More than 200 new jobs are set to be created at defence leader BAE Systems after the firm secured new orders worth £280m with the Ministry of Defence.
The MoD deal – which has an option to increase to more than £400m – will create new production operative roles across the company’s sites including 101 at Washington, Tyne and Wear, 65 at Radway Green, Cheshire, and 45 at Glascoed, South Wales. The contract is for the supply of munitions to the MoD, with the company outlining how current conflicts and tensions around the globe have highlighted the importance of UK manufacturing capabilities as well as its partnership with the UK Armed Forces.
The new roles significantly boost BAE Systems’ existing munitions business, which employs 1,260 people who are involved in either munitions manufacturing or test and evaluation at five sites across the UK, at Glascoed, Radway Green, Washington, Bishopton near Glasgow, and Ridsdale in Northumberland. The new orders build on the existing £2.4bn 15-year partnering agreement, and will significantly increase the production of defence stocks including 155mm artillery shells, 30mm medium calibre rounds and 5.56mm ammunition.
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Investments are now under way to pave the way for an increased manufacturing rate, including the creation of an additional 155mm machining line in Washington, a new explosive filling facility at Glascoed and the re-instatement of 30mm medium calibre manufacturing capability at the North East and South Wales facilities.
Charles Woodburn, chief executive at BAE Systems, said: “We’re incredibly proud of our role in delivering equipment to protect our armed forces and as the UK Ministry of Defence’s long-term strategic partner for munitions supply, we’re actively mobilising our operations in support of our NATO allies.
“This multimillion-pound investment will enable us to significantly ramp up production and sustain vital sovereign capability to deliver cutting-edge munitions, whilst creating and sustaining highly-skilled jobs across the UK.”
Ben Wallace, Secretary of State for Defence, added: “The production of 155mm shells is a demonstration of our commitment to invest in our Armed Forces and sovereign manufacturing capabilities. This is good news for the Army and British jobs, creating hundreds of highly skilled jobs in the North of England and Wales, and ensuring our military can deliver maximum effect on the battlefield.”