Thales Secures £98 Million UK SHORAD Contract

Second Recent Order for Northern Ireland Defence Industry

The UK MoD has contracted Thales UK to provide high velocity and lightweight multi-role missile systems to offer short-range air defence (SHORAD) to the British Army and Royal Marines, the Ministry announced on 4 March.

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, valued at $98.4 million (€114 million).

This 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,” commented Defence Minister, Jeremy Quin. The earlier contract mentioned was a £30 million order to Spirit Aerosystems for the UK’s first unmanned fighter aircraft.

Delivering rapid potent attack capability, the SHORAD missile systems can be fired from three platform variants: shoulder-launch for single fire; a lightweight multiple launcher (LML), capable of firing three missiles from a tripod; and a self-propelled launcher, designed to fire up to eight missiles from a STORMER armoured vehicle.

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