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Air Defence missile contract extension will help keep our skies safe

A £98.4 million contract, supporting 119 jobs, has been extended to maintain Short-Range Air Defence (SHORAD) 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.

This contract ensures the vital air defence capabilities, capable of dealing with a multitude of threats, are maintained and readily available to deploy. Jeremy Quin MP, Defence Minister

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. 

Defence Minister, Jeremy Quin said: “This contract ensures the vital air defence capabilities, capable of dealing with a multitude of threats, are maintained and readily available to deploy.

“The £98.4m investment is the second major contract awarded to Northern Ireland’s defence industry in less than three months highlighting Northern Ireland’s important contribution to the delivery of our critical defence capabilities.” 

Delivering rapid potent attack capability, the SHORAD missile systems can be fired from three platform variants. These include a Shoulder-Launch for single fire; a Lightweight Multiple Launcher capable of firing three missiles via a tripod, and a Self-Propelled launcher designed to fire up to eight missiles from a Stormer armoured vehicle.