New MOD Contract Secures Hampshire Jobs

The Ministry of Defence has announced a new £25 million contract for more laser-guided bombs, in a move set to secure hundreds of British jobs, including dozens in Hampshire.

The additional Paveway IV bombs will be carried by Tornado jets in Afghanistan, and are also due to be carried by new Typhoon and Lightning II aircraft.

Used during last year's air campaign over Libya, the RAF precision weapons use Global Positioning System (GPS) technology which allows the UK to conduct 24-hour attacks against a range of targets.

Aircrew have the ability to reprogram the weapon during a mission, allowing them to attack a wider range of targets.

The MoD have announced a new #25 million contract for more Paveway IV bombs from Raytheon UK.

It will sustain around 450 jobs at the firm's UK plants in Scotland and Essex.

But the contract will also support jobs at Raytheon's subcontractors - including Portsmouth Aviation Ltd and Thales in Basingstoke, Hampshire.

This year, the MoD has awarded more than £100 million of contracts to Raytheon UK for around 1,600 Paveway IV bombs, a spokesman said.

''This highly sophisticated UK-developed and manufactured weapon is the backbone of the RAF's precision bombing capability.

This contract to boost the MoD's weapon stocks will sustain hundreds of skilled jobs in the defence manufacturing sector in both Scotland and England.

By balancing the defence budget, we are able to commit with confidence to equipment programmes which help to safeguard our national security.''

Assistant Chief of the Air Staff, Air Vice-Marshal Baz North, added: ''Paveway munitions have long been a success story for the Royal Air Force in terms of their precision bombing capability.

The ability to operate in any weather means that we are able to support operations 24/7.

Paveway IV weapons are a real asset not only to the Royal Air Force, but to defence as a whole.''