BAE Systems has secured new orders for the supply of munitions to the UK Ministry of Defence (MOD). The orders, worth £280m, with the option to increase to more than £400m, will create more than 200 new jobs in the North of England and South Wales, boosting the Company’s 1,200-strong UK munitions workforce.
Current conflicts and tensions across the globe have highlighted the importance of sovereign manufacturing capabilities and the enduring partnership between BAE Systems and the UK Armed Forces.
Building on the existing £2.4bn 15-year partnering agreement, the new orders will significantly increase the production of vital defence stocks such as 155mm artillery shells, 30mm medium calibre rounds and 5.56mm ammunition. These are core products which the British Army relies on to deliver maximum effectiveness on the battlefield.
Key investments are already underway to enable the increased manufacturing rate, including:
- An additional 155mm machining line in Washington, Tyne & Wear
- A new explosive filling facility at Glascoed, South Wales
- Re-instatement of the 30mm medium calibre manufacturing capability, at Washington and Glascoed
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 multi-million 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, said: “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.”
Photo courtesy BAE Systems – Credit James Robinson, BAE Washington