THALES Air Defence, formerly Shorts Missile Systems (SMS), has received a £66 million order from the UK Ministry of Defence that is expected to create around 30 jobs.

Welcoming the order, which is likely to strengthen the company’s global position as a technology leader, Sir Reg Empey, Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Investment, said: “This very substantial endorsement from the Ministry of Defence will enhance the company's export marketing activities for its highly effective Starstreak system.

“It consolidates the position of Belfast as a centre of excellence for missile design, development and manufacture within this global company.”

The Minister added that the additional opportunities which the new contract offered, such as the ability for people to gain high tech skills with a worldclass company, was another important aspect of the new order.

Under the SMS banner, Thales has been involved in the design and manufacture of close air defence weapons for over 40 years with over 60,000 missiles supplied to 56 armed forces worldwide.

Its current product portfolio includes the Starstreak and Starburst VSHORAD missiles systems, the Aspic automatic Fire Control System and the SAMANTHA and CLARA Command and Control Systems.


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