Bolton Missile Firm Lands £184 Million Contract To Supply Weapons For N0ew Stealth Combat Aircraft

17 August 2016

BOLTON has become a key player in the defence of the nation with the announcement of a multi-million pound contract to missile manufacturers MBDA.

The firm has been awarded the £184 million contract to ensure the UK’s new supersonic stealth combat aircraft will continue to be equipped with the latest air-to-air missile.

Harriett Baldwin, Minister for Defence Procurement, was at the Lostock-based firm to make the announcement and tour the site.

The missile — ASRAAM — is an advanced heat-seeking weapon which will give Royal Air Force and Royal Navy f-35B Lightning II pilots, operating from land and the UK’s two new aircraft carriers, the ability to defeat current and future air adversaries.

Work on ASRAAM will be carried out at the MBDA’s new £40 million modern manufacturing and assembly site in the Logistic North commercial development.

Harriett Baldwin meets Keith Garden UK Deputy Managing Director MBDA when she visited MBDA

The award will sustain 400 jobs , 200 of which will be at the Bolton and other company’s sites.

MBDA will manufacture an additional stockpile of an updated version of the weapon, allowing F-35 combat jets to use the missile beyond 2022.

Ms Baldwin said: “It’s great to see the real passion and commitment that people here have for this very important work. I was very pleased to be able to thank everyone who works here for the important work they do here for UK defence.

 “It is a new £184 million contract which MDBA have won to provide the next generation of advanced short range anti-aircraft missiles which will be fitted to the new F-35s which will operate from both land and the two the new aircraft carriers that are coming into service.

“What is exciting about the equipment is that, in its class,it is the fastest missile and also travels further than any other comparable missiles and that has great adaptability that it can hit the smallest drone to the largest airborne vehicles.

“It sustains across the UK 400 jobs including 200 at MBDA, the manufacturing will be done in Bolton and the design is also done in UK at MBDA Stevenage office so it is very good news for sustaining UK jobs in defence and an important part of our commitment to spending £178 billion on defence equipment. Our defence budget is now increasing year -on-year and that is important sign of the commitment that the UK has in securing the defence of our country. Bolton plays a key role in it.”

David Critchley, Head of manufacturing ASRAAM at MBDA said: “This is an exciting time for MBDA especially as we are moving to a new modern site.

“This contract demonstrates long term sustainability for employment and for the site.

“Having the Minister here was tremendous — to meet the employees personally and recognise the passion and enthusiasm they have for the work they do and to show what MBDA is about.

“This is big news for the UK, keeping the UK safe and for the Bolton community who work here and we invest in.”


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