Secretary of State for Wales, Cheryl Gillan has today welcomed the Ministry of Defence’s (MoD) £5.5bn commitment to funding an Armoured Fighting Vehicle (AFV) pipeline, which is set to safeguard and create hundreds of jobs in Wales.
The MoD has confirmed in its Planning Round 2012 that it will commit funding to the supply of armoured vehicles to the British Army, which includes the Scout SV project led by defence firm General Dynamics, based in Oakdale and Newbridge in Caerphilly.
It is anticipated that up to 300 engineers and project managers at the South Wales plants will develop the vehicles, with hundreds of further jobs created during the manufacturing phase.
Speaking from Thailand, where she is undertaking visits to promote trade, tourism and governmental links as part of the UK Government’s GREAT campaign, Mrs Gillan said:
“The defence industry continues to be vital to the Welsh economy and this announcement is a real validation of General Dynamics’ continued investment in the talent, expertise and skills of our workers here in Wales and across the UK.
“I visited the General Dynamics UK plant in Newbridge in March last year and saw first-hand the excellent work being done. I also regularly discuss defence procurement matters and the implications for Wales with the MoD.
“This announcement provides us with the opportunity to show the rest of the world that Wales is really playing its part in providing first-class protection and support to the brave individuals working in a variety of front line situations around the world.”