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Scottish defence industry wins new radar contract

Posted 3 September 2020 · Add Comment

The work of four hundred Scottish defence electronics workers has been bolstered by new Ministry of Defence (MoD) fast jet fighter radar contracts, the Minister for Defence Procurement Jeremy Quin MP announced today.

Above: An RAF Typhoon.
Courtesy MoD

The Leonardo and BAE Systems plants in Edinburgh (300 jobs) and Dunfermline (100 jobs) pick up two-thirds of the 600 UK jobs that will be supported by the £317 million order.

Confirming the news at the Defence Procurement, Research, Technology & Exportability (DPRTE) 2020 event, the Minister said: "It is vital that our Armed Forces are equipped with the latest technology to counter emerging threats from our adversaries.

"Today we announce the investment in the latest in radar technology for our fighter jets. This demonstrates our commitment to maintaining security in the air whilst supporting highly-skilled jobs across the UK."

Typhoon aircraft will be equipped with next-generation radar thanks to £317 million investment that will allow it to locate, identify and suppress enemy air defences using high-powered jamming.

Image courtesy BAE Systems

The integration of the new European Common Radar System (ECRS) Mk2, which is based on Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) technology, will provide a capability edge in the increasingly contested battlespace.

Currently fitted with mechanically-scanning radar, the Typhoon is designed to be continuously upgraded to meet operational demand no matter the challenge or threat. The ECRS Mk2 will allow the aircraft to simultaneously detect, identify and track multiple targets in the air and on the ground in the most challenging environments.

The MoD’s equipment plan is supporting Scottish business, jobs and skills far into the future; helping to make Scotland one of the most competitive places in the world to innovate, build business and deliver security.

UK Government Minister for Scotland Iain Stewart said: "This £317 million radar contract and the 400 jobs in Edinburgh and Dunfermline it supports clearly shows yet again that not only does defence play a crucial part in the security of the United Kingdom but it also significantly contributes to Scotland’s prosperity in high-skilled employment and investment.

"Our nation has a proud military history and UK Government defence investment here will ensure there is a bright future with latest Ministry of Defence figures showing that procurement spend in Scotland has risen to £1.76 billion a year, supporting more than 10,000 Scottish industry jobs."

Figures published earlier this year showed MoD procurement spend in Scotland has risen to £1.76 billion in 2018/19, the fifth year running there has been an increase.

This is up from £1.64 billion the previous year and an increase in per person spend to £320.

In addition, the number of Scottish industry jobs this supports has increased from 10,100 to 10,200.

Scotland will see a further £1.5 billion of defence investment in infrastructure over a 10-year period on improved facilities at Faslane, Coulport and RAF Lossiemouth.

A further 550 extra military personnel and their families will be based in Moray by 2024 and the number of personnel at Her Majesty’s Naval Base on the Clyde is also increasing, plus thousands of regular personnel and reserves are based in Scotland.

Further benefits of defence investment in Scotland include:

  • Scotland’s HMNB Clyde will be home to all of the UK’s submarines this year.
  • RAF Lossiemouth is one of the RAF’s three fast jet operating bases, including Quick Response Alert (QRA) interceptors. It will soon be home to an additional Typhoon squadron.
  • The first two of nine Boeing P-8 Maritime Patrol Aircraft arrived in Scotland in March 2020. All nine Poseison aircraft are expected in the UK by the end of 2021.
  • In total, RAF Lossiemouth will benefit from around £400 million of investment.
  • Boeing and the UK Government are building a new £100 million operational support and training facility for Poseidon, creating more than 100 new jobs.

Andrea Thompson, Managing Director Europe & International for BAE Systems’ Air sector, said: "This capability will allow Typhoon to take its place in the future battlespace for decades to come, maturing key technologies for future combat air systems and ensuring interoperability.

"As well as securing highly skilled jobs, it will sustain the key skills needed to keep the UK at the forefront of the global Combat Air sector. We look forward to continuing to work alongside the Eurofighter nations and our industry partners to ensure Typhoon delivers the needs of today and answers the challenges of tomorrow.”

Mark Hamilton, Senior Vice-President Electronic Warfare, Leonardo, said: “This contract is great news for the UK, which will get the world’s most capable fighter radar, and great news for British engineering. Inventing, developing and building advanced technology here in the UK allows us to understand and meet the specific requirements of our Armed Forces and to secure export orders all around the world, boosting the whole UK economy.”



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