Press release

Stephen Crabb MP: “Defence industry vital to health of Welsh economy"

This news article was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

Wales Office Minister visits General Dynamics UK

Wales Office Minister Stephen Crabb MP will today (19 June) visit General Dynamics UK to see the wide ranging capabilities the south Wales based defence supply company provides to the UK Armed Forces.

The visit comes following the announcement that the Ministry of Defence has awarded two 5-year contracts to General Dynamics UK to support the Bowman radio system used by UK Armed Forces personnel around the world.

General Dynamics UK will provide design, engineering and logistic support for the radio system that is used across the British Army, Royal Navy and Royal Air Force.

The work will sustain the jobs of 140 highly skilled engineers at their Oakdale site in Blackwood near Newport, with further roles being secured in the company’s wider supply chain.

Wales Office Minister Stephen Crabb MP said:

General Dynamics UK has a proven record of delivering high quality support services to our Armed Forces. As Wales prepares to host the NATO Summit in September, the awarding of the Bowman contracts is a validation of the expertise and skills of our defence sector workers in Wales and across the UK.

Wales has long been at the forefront of the aerospace and defence industries, with Welsh companies employing thousands of people in this sector, and providing high quality equipment and support to our excellent armed forces around the world. The contribution General Dynamics UK makes to this sector is helping to lay the foundations for lasting growth and shared prosperity in the defence industry, UK wide.

Steve Rowbotham, chief operating officer at General Dynamics UK, said:

We are delighted that the Minister chose to visit us today to see first-hand the cutting-edge solutions General Dynamics UK delivers to the UK Armed Forces. The two recent contract awards demonstrates the confidence the UK Ministry of Defence places in the Bowman communication system, and is also a clear show of faith in the Company’s highly-skilled employees who deliver Bowman and the Specialist Vehicle from Oakdale, in the heart of the Welsh Valleys.

General Dynamics UK - which supports around 500 jobs at its Oakdale site, and approximately 700 across the UK - manages a number of large supply chains for its defence programmes.

During the visit, Mr Crabb will also tour the company’s research and development hub, known as EDGE UK®, where he will see how General Dynamics UK works with SMEs, academia, and government to develop ground-breaking technology for domestic and international customers. Capabilities delivered through previous EDGE UK collaborations are currently in service with the UK Armed Forces.