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Apr 03. Thales Communications’ bid as prime contractor for the UK MoD’s Electronic Warfare (EW) programme Soothsayer, worth some £150 million, has been further strengthened with the signing of an exclusive teaming agreement with Marshall Specialist Vehicles Ltd (MSV), of Cambridge.

Soothsayer is the next generation tactical land EW system incorporating advanced signal analysis for both communications and radar band signals and will progressively replace the MoD’s Odette and INCE (Interim Non-Communications Equipment) systems also provided by Thales.

A key element of Thales’ solution is the comprehensive vehicle mounted equipment infrastructure that will support the efficient deployment and operation of Soothsayer. MSV brings to the Thales team extensive experience of installation of military equipment into shelters and cabins that are required to operate with high reliability in harsh battlefield environments.

Mark Cook, managing director of the C4ISR business of Thales Communications UK, commented: “After an extensive evaluation of potential partners for the vehicle installation, I am very pleased to welcome MSV to the Soothsayer team. The proven delivery capability and track record of MSV in this business area, provides a powerful extension to the team’s capabilities, bringing both technical and managerial competence that fits well within the culture that the Thales team has cultivated during the assessment phase.”

Robert Marshall, chief executive officer of Marshall Specialist Vehicles, commented: “MSV is very pleased to be a part of the Thales’ Soothsayer team and looks forward to providing the company’s extensive military installation design expertise and shelter fitting experience to support this key UK MoD EW programme.”

Thales Plc’s defence activities in the UK encompass communications, sensors, air defence, optronic systems, naval systems and avionics. The company employs 12,000 staff in UK companies with a turnover approaching £1.2 billion. The world-wide Thales Group employs 65,000 people generating global sales of over £7 billion in 2002. In the EW arena, Thales offers turnkey solutions as prime contractor and systems integrator to the UK MoD.

Established in 1946, Marshall SV Ltd has grown to become a world authority in the design and manufacture of mobile military systems. Design, manufacture and life support for rapidly deployable vehicle based tactical systems have become a key areas of expertise for MSV. As part of the Marshall Group of companies, Marshall SV is based on the airport site at Cambridge and are able to combine their vehicle mobility skills with the C130 air transportation knowledge of their sister company Marshall Aerospace. Marshall SV has been selected to design and manufacture the mobile ground station elements for the UK MoD programmes Astor and Cormorant. Experience gained on these programmes in areas of vehicle design, integration, and power supplies, will be key to delivering a high performance, low risk, cost effective solution to the Soothsayer programme.

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