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23 Jul 15. General Dynamics UK has been awarded a £390m contract by the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) to provide in-service support for the SCOUT Specialist Vehicle (SV) fleet until 2024. In addition, the company is opening a new Armoured Fighting Vehicle (AFV) Assembly, Integration and Testing (AIT) facility in South Wales. The contract is an extension of the in-service support that General Dynamics UK was contracted to provide for the SCOUT SV fleet until 2020, and it includes the provision of spares and repairs for all 589 platforms. The extended in-service support contract offers a cost-effective support solution that builds upon the SCOUT SV manufacturing phase, taking advantage of the production pricing of parts. With this facility investment, General Dynamics UK will undertake the assembly, integration and testing of 489 SCOUT Specialist Vehicle (SV) platforms. A further 100 platforms will undergo assembly, integration and testing at General Dynamics European Land Systems’ facility in Seville, Spain. The vehicles are on schedule to be delivered to the British Army from 2017 through 2024. The new UK industrial capability, alongside the SCOUT SV extended in-service support contract, will support the creation of 250 new jobs in South Wales. The SCOUT SV programme directly supports approximately 2,650 jobs across the UK. The investment by General Dynamics UK in this new AIT industrial capability is reaffirmation of the UK’s proud history of developing and manufacturing AFVs.
Prime Minister David Cameron said, “Today’s decision by General Dynamics to bring the assembly of these world class armoured vehicles to South Wales is to the credit of the skills and expertise in the local area. The 250 additional new skilled jobs at General Dynamics UK will build on those already safeguarded by the decision to purchase 589 Scout vehicles for our Armed Forces, ensuring our servicemen and women have the very best equipment to keep us safe.”
Defence Minister Philip Dunne said, “Increasing British jobs both at General Dynamics UK and through the supply chain, the Scout SV will make a real contribution to the UK economy over its 30 year lifespan. The decision from General Dynamics UK to create a facility in Wales to assemble and maintain this cutting-edge capability for the British Army will result in greater efficiency in maintaining vehicles, lower costs and create highly-skilled jobs in the process.”
Kevin Connell, vice president of General Dynamics Land Systems – UK, said, “The UK MoD is a critical partner for General Dynamics, and today’s announcement demonstrates our commitment to delivering world-leading AFV platforms to the British Army from the UK. This new industrial capability will support the delivery of extended in-service support for SCOUT SV, whilst creating 250 new jobs on this important UK programme, and will open up exciting new possibilities for General Dynamics in the UK in the years ahead.”
SCOUT SV was developed at General Dynamics UK’s AFV design and engineering centre in Oakdale, South Wales. The company’s employees include highly-skilled engineers who are delivering the family of best-in-class platforms. Today’s announcement creates a UK-based team of more than 550 with expertise in the design, development and AIT of AFV.
BATTLESPACE Comment: This is good news for UK Ltd and South Wales in particular and ensures that upgrades and UORs for Scout are carried out in UK not Spain. This award gives GDUK an uplift on its current contract to allow the Company to make the required investment in South Wales. This is not good news for Babcock where DSG had originally been slated for the Scout MRO site, before the Babcock purchase. Thus there is little doubt that there will be considerable redundancies at the Babcock DSG Donnington site when the current