A £98.4M contract, supporting 119 jobs, has been extended to maintain Short-Range Air Defence (SHORAD) equipment for the British Army and Royal Marines. SHORAD is made up of High Velocity and Lightweight Multi-role Missile systems that can intercept air threats including fast jets, attack helicopters and unmanned air systems in a matter of seconds.

Thales UK won the initial contract in 2018, helping to modernise and develop the missile systems as part of the Future Air Defence Availability Project (F-ADAPT). This latest announcement confirms a five-year extension to the contract, sustaining over one hundred jobs at Thales UK’s Belfast site and within the wider Northern Ireland supply chain.

Northern Ireland plays an imperative role within UK defence and its supply chain. This is the second multi-million-pound defence contract awarded to a Northern Ireland-based industry this year. In January, Spirit AeroSystems in Belfast, won a £30M contract for the UK’s first unmanned fighter aircraft, supporting over 100 local jobs.

Jack Richardson