Following the Prime Minister’s announcement on the eve of the NATO Wales Summit last year that the government would buy 589 world-class, armoured fighting vehicles for the Armed Forces, he has announced a new £390 million contract with General Dynamics to support the vehicles and bring an additional 250 new highly-skilled jobs to the region.
The contract will extend the current in service support contract for the Scout Specialist Vehicles (SV) to 2024, delivering onshore technical engineering and maintenance from a site in South Wales. As a result, General Dynamics UK has taken the decision to bring to Wales: assembly, integration and testing for the vehicles which was previously carried out overseas.
Welcoming the deal, Prime Minister David Cameron said:
Today’s decision by General Dynamics to bring the assembly of these world class armoured vehicles to South Wales is to the credit of the skills and expertise in the local area. The 250 additional new skilled jobs at General Dynamics will build on those already safeguarded by the decision to purchase 589 Scout vehicles for our armed forces, ensuring our servicemen and women have the very best equipment to keep us safe.
The 589 new armoured fighting vehicles, known as Scout specialist vehicles, will be the ‘eyes and ears’ of the British Army on the battlefields of the future.
Designed by General Dynamics UK, based in Oakdale, South Wales, the new vehicle will give the army enhanced intelligence, surveillance, protection, target acquisition and reconnaissance capabilities, and it will be able to defend itself with a highly effective 40-millimetre cannon.
As the army’s first fully digitised armoured fighting vehicle, the Scout will be effective in even the most difficult terrains around the world.
Welcoming the Scout announcement, Stephen Crabb, Secretary of State for Wales, said:
This is an enormous vote of confidence in the Welsh workforce and will provide a huge jobs boost for Merthyr Tydfil.
The Welsh manufacturing sector is going from strength to strength and I am delighted that we have been able to work with General Dynamics to make this deal happen.
Across the country, we are rebalancing the economy, attracting new businesses to Wales and supporting them to succeed here.