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UK MoD awards Thales four-year contract to develop new weapon system

UK MoD awards Thales four-year contract to develop new weapon system

Thales, a Belfast-based French missile maker, has reportedly received an immense boost after being awarded a four-year contract from the UK’s Ministry of Defence (Mod) worth about £72.5 million.

According to credible sources, the firm, located in the city's east, was granted the contracts to create a revolutionary weapon system that does not rely on conventional ammunition.

The contract, which was granted to a consortium led by Thales UK and Raytheon UK, will result in the creation of 30 new job positions in Thales NI, which currently employs over 600 people.

The MoD reviled that the new ‘Directed Energy Weapons’ (DEW), which are being developed under the deal are fueled by electricity and function without ammunition, considerably lowering operational costs and providing unprecedented offensive and defensive versatility to frontline personnel.

The Managing Director of Thales Belfast, Philip McBride, stated that winning these contracts is a fantastic news story for Northern Ireland and its position as a center of technological innovation.

They enable the firm to broaden its capabilities and guarantee that it remains an important element of the MoD's thinking in manufacturing and delivering new Weapons to the UK's Forces for the coming future, McBride added.

According to McBride, the awards also contribute to the establishment of a center of excellence for innovative weapons in Northern Ireland, allowing the company to extend its skillset and grow the appropriately skilled, experienced workforce required for the future.

Two laser DEW demonstrators and one radio frequency DEW demonstrator will be delivered under the three contracts.

The first laser demonstration will help the Royal Navy's Type 23 frigate by identifying, tracking, countering, and engaging Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) and sea targets.

This demonstration will also be housed on the British Army's Wolfhound armored vehicle, which will improve capability in counter-UAV and other airborne threats, while also prosecuting land-based targets.

The British Army will also employ the radio frequency demonstrator, which will be housed on a MAN SV truck, identifying and tracking a range of sea, air, and land targets.

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