MoD contract

Defence jobs secured in £270m radar upgrade

Queen Elizabeth aircraft carrier

Defence skills in Scotland and England will be secured after BAE Systems was invited to carry out a £270 million radar upgrade.

The company was awarded the 10-year contract to support one of three main radar systems used by the Royal Navy. 

Every major Royal Navy ship from the Queen Elizabeth Class aircraft carriers to the Type 45 destroyers feature at least one of these systems which are designed and built by BAE Systems. 

BAE Systems engineers will provide maintenance support and upgrade existing radars, including a roll out of technology upgrades to systems already in use as well as those being installed on the Royal Navy’s new Type 26 frigates, which the company is currently building in Glasgow.

The MOD and BAE Systems are jointly investing a further £50m to develop the next generation of radar technology which the Royal Navy requires to tackle emerging threats, including ballistic missiles and drones. 

The MOD will contribute £37.5m and BAE Systems will invest £12.5m into research and development. This commitment is designed to ensure that British naval radar technology remains a global market leader.

The support contract and joint investment secures around 400 highly-skilled British jobs and underpins BAE Systems’ radar business in Hillend, near Edinburgh, Cowes on the Isle of Wight, Portsmouth in Hampshire, Great Baddow in Essex.

It will also create new support roles in engineering and project management as well as additional investment in the UK supply chain of SME and high-tech suppliers. 

Minister for Defence Procurement, James Cartlidge said: “Equipping our Armed Forces with the latest technology to counter emerging threats is critical to ensuring the safety and effectiveness of our fleet and personnel. 

“Securing hundreds of jobs across the UK, this contract is a boost for the UK Supply Chain and lets our adversaries know we are equipped, prepared and ready.” 

Scott Jamieson, managing director of BAE Systems’ Maritime Services business, said:  “This is a pivotal moment for UK radar technology development. This contract secures a decade of investment into a critical capability for the UK armed forces.

“It also allows us to evolve future radar technology with the MOD to sustain maritime air dominance and vital radar development skills and experience in the UK.” 

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