A missile systems company based in Filton has been awarded a £483m Ministry of Defence contract.
MBDA UK will work on the new Sea Ceptor Royal Navy defence system which aims to intercept and destroy enemy missiles travelling at supersonic speeds.
Sea Ceptor is intended to replace the vertical launch Sea Wolf currently in service on the Royal Navy’s Type 23 frigates. Significantly, it is also planned to be the principal air defence system on the successor Type 26 Global Combat Ship.
The contract will sustain about 500 jobs in MBDA’s Filton facility and its production bases in Stevenage, Herts, and Lostock in Bolton.
Work is expected to last for around five years.
Welcoming the announcement, MBDA UK Managing Director Steve Wadey said:
“This contract is important for a number of reasons. In the first instance it ensures that with SEA CEPTOR the Royal Navy will have the best equipment to protect its ships and crews against the growing threat. The contract is also a powerful example of how industry and the MOD can deliver together an advanced capability that meets military needs in the most cost-effective manner.”
The MBDA group has more than 10,000 employees and is jointly owned by BAE Systems, EADS and Italian-based Finmeccanica.