Enterprise Minister Arlene Foster has welcomed an export contract worth over £100million for Thales with the Indonesian Ministry of Defence.
Thales which is based in Belfast and Crossgar, is a Centre of Excellence for missile design and manufacture within the Thales Group. The new export order for ForceSHIELD, Thales’ integrated Advanced Air Defence system, includes STARStreak short range air defence missiles and RAPIDRanger vehicle based launcher systems which are designed, developed and manufactured in Northern Ireland.
Arlene Foster said: “Thales is a world class defence company with a global reputation and has been working hard to secure new export business. This valuable contract represents a break through in Air Defence sales for Thales UK and will help sustain jobs at the firm’s sites in Northern Ireland.
“Thales operates at the cutting edge of engineering and has benefited from Invest Northern Ireland support over the years to develop and extend its design capabilities, manufacturing skills and meet the needs of international customers.”
Over the past three decades Thales has become a world-renowned specialist in the Short Range Air Defence weapons segment of the defence market. It is currently responsible for the design, development, manufacturing and testing of products at the leading edge of defence technology and has well established relationships with the UK MoD and with other Global Government and business customers.
The company, which is part of Thales’ Land and Air Systems operations, employs around 500 people at its design and manufacturing facility in Belfast and at its integration facility at Crossgar, Co Down.
In October, Thales UK confirmed it had signed a contract with the Ministry of Defence (MOD) for a further 200 STARStreak short-range surface-to-air missiles, a key component of the UK’s Ground Based Air Defence (GBAD) capability. The multi-million pound contract was announced by the Prime Minister, the Rt Hon. David Cameron MP, in a speech to the Northern Ireland Investment Conference in Belfast.