The Defence Secretary, Sir Michael Fallon, as announced a £330m contract to design the next-generation of battlefield communications on a visit to Wales and also formally handed over the St Athan ‘Super Hangar’ to Aston Martin.
Both the Morpheus battlefield communications contract with General Dynamics UK (GDUK), and Aston Martin’s investment in St Athan will create and support a thousand jobs across south Wales.
Visiting the General Dynamics UK (GDUK) site at Oakdale, the Defence Secretary spoke of the MOD’s new Morpheus programme, a £330m investment in innovative new tactical communications systems for our Armed Forces, which will support 250 high-tech jobs in South Wales.
While in Wales, the Defence Secretary handed over the former MOD Super Hangar to Aston Martin at a special ceremony at St Athan. The redevelopment of the site into a state of the art manufacturing facility for the British luxury carmaker will directly create 750 new jobs in South Wales, and support thousands more as production starts in 2019.
This state of the art communications system will be integrated on to the Army’s new Ajax vehicles, currently under construction by GDUK, and allow British troops to rapidly deploy new radios and applications to connect with commanders and allies. The system will also be used by the RAF and Royal Navy on a range of platforms, and provide our personnel with modernised command and control networks they need to keep Britain safe.
The MOD is investing £3.5bn in Ajax, which will be in service with the Army from 2020. With new innovative equipment like Ajax and Morpheus, and new ways of working the Army of the future will be able to successfully tackle a wider range of threats and keep the UK safe.
The Defence Secretary also met with some of GDUK’s apprentices, who play an important role in the Defence Industry. The MOD is the largest provider of apprentices in the UK, enrolling 14,200 new apprentices across the Armed Services and in the civil service over the last year, and is committed to encouraging defence suppliers to support apprenticeships across their business.