Henry Smith MP has welcomed the involvement of Crawley-based Thales UK in two production deals announced by the Ministry of Defence.
“I welcome the Ministry of Defence signing a £271 million deal to continue to support our world-leading Wildcat helicopters, which will provide a further boost for the Crawley economy by sustaining highly-skilled local jobs.
“The multi-million pound contract plays a crucial role in ensuring our Armed Forces have the equipment they deserve. Crawley continues to play a key role in the security of our nation.”
The new Wildcat Integrated Support and Training (WIST) contract will support jobs in Edinburgh, Luton, and Crawley, where subcontractor Thales UK provide support to communication and aircraft management systems.
Wildcat helicopters are highly versatile aircraft, capable of a range of tasks over land and sea. The Royal Navy’s maritime Wildcat forms the core of the UK’s Frigate and Destroyer aviation capability, performing tasks including Anti-Surface and Submarine Warfare, force protection, transport and the vital information, surveillance, target acquisition, and reconnaissance (ISTAR) role.
The Army variant performs reconnaissance, command and control, force protection, and transport roles in a wide variety of environments.
“This announcement follows last week’s confirmation that the MOD’s contract for support for the UK’s Atlas A400M aircraft will also benefit Crawley, with Thales as part of the supply chain.
“This £410 million pound contract secures a key part of the RAF airlift fleet until 2026.”
Atlas can also carry armoured vehicles; for humanitarian roles it is capable of deploying mobile cranes, excavators and large dump trucks for disaster relief operations.