MoD awards £45m battlefield radios contract
Wednesday 24 July 2013
A new multimillion-pound contract for the maintenance of British troops' battlefield radios will secure hundreds of defence jobs across the country, the Ministry of Defence (MoD) has announced.
The MoD has awarded a £45 million maintenance contract for the armed forces' Bowman radio, a secure digital voice and data system which allows frontline soldiers to communicate with colleagues and commanders on the ground, at sea or in the air, and is said to play a vital role in Afghanistan.
The new contract is expected to secure up to 300 British defence jobs, both through General Dynamics UK, which will provide essential support for troops across the globe who use Bowman, with other jobs being sustained across the supply chain.
Minister for Defence Equipment Support and Technology Philip Dunne said: "General Dynamics have a proven record of delivering high-quality support services to our armed forces.
"Bowman is a key communications asset, used by all three services across the globe, enabling greater situational awareness and critically providing a secure system for information-sharing and communications.
"This £45 million contract is a good example of how one of our prime contractors is working closely with UK-based small and medium-sized enterprises, helping to rebalance the economy and laying the foundations for lasting growth and shared prosperity in the defence industry."
The deal will secure 150 jobs at General Dynamics' site in Oakdale, South Wales, with another 150 sustained across the supply chain at companies including Wincanton in Bicester, Oxfordshire; Excelis in Basingstoke, Hampshire; and DRS in Farnham, Surrey; as well as smaller companies such as Cablescan in Brough, Yorkshire, and AWE Electronics in Staffordshire.
Richard Willis, managing director of Cablescan, which repairs any electrical wiring on Bowman radios damaged on operations in Afghanistan and return them to the frontline, said: "This Bowman contract provides Cablescan with a bedrock of sustainable work over the next five years which supports the company growth strategy by enabling a fixed level of work to be planned into the production schedule each month.
"As a result, we have created additional jobs and are relocating to a larger facility within one of the country's enterprise zones."
In 2010 the MoD was criticised after thousands of the Bowman radios went missing - raising fears they have fallen into the hands of enemy fighters in Afghanistan.
The Commons' Defence Select Committee said it was "unacceptable" that the MoD could not account for the whereabouts of the radio systems worth, £155 million.
Culinary experts in The Netherlands thought it was 'fresh' and 'tasty'
- 1 Marijuana use by teenagers does not result in a lower IQ or worse exam results, study finds
- 2 Watch what happened when food critics were unknowingly served McDonald's
- 3 Jimmy Carr's controversial Oscar Pistorius joke goes too far at the Q Awards
- 4 Australian café owner sparks debate after saying 'No' to having unruly children on premises
- 5 NHS staff banned from drinking tea or coffee on the job because it looks like they're not working hard enough
Renee Zellweger on plastic surgery: 'I'm living a more fulfilling life and I'm thrilled that perhaps it shows'
Kim Jong-un 'purge': Six North Korea officials missing for weeks 'may have been executed'
Diwali: What is the festival of lights – and how is it celebrated around the world?
Nathan Cirillo: Final pictures emerge of soldier moments before he was shot dead by Ottowa gunman
Jimmy Carr's controversial Oscar Pistorius joke goes too far at the Q Awards
Cameron is warned 'no possibility' of UK reducing immigration and that bid to bring in quota on migrant workers would be illegal
Of course, teenage girls need role models – but not like beauty vlogger Zoella
Support for EU membership 'at highest level since 1991' with most Brits wanting to stay 'in'
Thousands with degenerative conditions classified as 'fit to work in future' – despite no possibility of improvement
Residents should throw a street party and mix with immigrant neighbours, councils told
Russell Brand threatened with arrest after filming outside Fox News headquarters
£300 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: SSRS Report Developer – 3 Mon...
£95 - £150 per day: Randstad Education Birmingham: Key Stage 1 teacher require...
£32000 - £39000 per annum + benefits + bonus: Ashdown Group: Generalist HR Man...
£18000 - £30000 per annum + uncapped: SThree: Do you feel like your sales role...