Friday, January 23, 2009

UK MINISTRY OF DEFENCE: Super fast missile system gets new lease of life

UK MINISTRY OF DEFENCE: Super fast missile system gets new lease of life
23 January 2009

The super fast Starstreak High Velocity Missile (HVM) system used by the Army and Royal Marines is to get a new lease life for the next 13 years thanks to a £200m contact with Thales UK, announced today by Minister for Defence Equipment and Support, Quentin Davies.

The Starstreak HVM is a close air defence system with an advanced laser-guided weapon which flies at more than three times the speed of sound and is designed to counter threats from very-high-performance, low-flying aircraft and fast 'pop-up' strikes by helicopter attacks.
The HVM can be fired from the shoulder, from a lightweight multiple launcher or from the Stormer armoured vehicle.

Minister for Defence Equipment and Support, Quentin Davies said:
"This is an important contract with Thales UK as it ensures the availability of the High Velocity Missile, a crucial weapon system for the Armed Forces. Through this £200M contract we are sustaining technologies in the UK Industry that are important for our future defence needs and sustaining up to 100 vital jobs over the next decade. I am committed to providing our Armed Forces with the best possible equipment to deal with a wide range of potential operations."

Rear Admiral Amjad Hussain, Director General Weapons, Defence Equipment & Support added:
"This support arrangement will reduce the cost of ownership of HVM while also providing the ability to transition from peacetime to planned or unplanned operations. Air Defence Availability Project
(ADAPT) is fully consistent with the wider MoD initiative for the Complex Weapons (CW) sector and we are pleased to be entering into a long term arrangement with one of our Team Complex Weapons players"
Thales UK, based at Belfast in Northern Ireland, makes the weapons in a hi-tech plant that employs over 500 people. Some 50-100 jobs are expected to be sustained by this contract over the next decade helping them to retain their expertise in the complex weapons arena.

Steve Hill, Vice President and Managing Director of Thales UK air systems business said:
"The ADAPT contract is key to sustaining our current levels of employment and will provide us with an opportunity to move into the area of Through Life Capability Management - an area which is becoming increasingly important for defence contracting. This also is a great endorsement of the UK Defence Industrial Strategy which facilitates longer term relationships between key suppliers and the MOD."

Notes to editors
1. The Starstreak HVM uses a system of three dart-like projectiles, allowing multiple hits on the target. The missile has been in service for 12 years.
2. HVM ADAPT will support our troops over 13 years. The contract is termed ADAPT which stands for Air Defence Availability Project and covers the complete weapon system including the vehicles.

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