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SAAB WINS UK ANTI-ARMOUR CONTRACT

21 MAY 02. Saab AB (S.SAA) announced that its Bofors Dynamics unit has received an order worth around SEK4bn(£400m)to supply anti-armour weapons to the British and Swedish armies.

Saab will be the preferred supplier for the program, known as the Next
Generation Light Anti-Armour Weapon Programme, it said. The contract is for Joint development and production for the armies of the two countries.

The weapons will be produced in mass numbers for the British army, Saab said. Sweden has an option allowing it to adjust production levels.

Development work will take place primarily in Eskilstuna and Karlskoga in Sweden , Saab said. A team of 14 U.K. companies has been formed for production. Final assembly will be done at Thales Air Defence Ltd. in Ireland.

Saab described the weapon as a light, one-man anti-armour weapon that will be built on technology from Saab’s BILL 2 and AT4CS products.

Main team members are: Saab Bofors Dynamics, Thales Air Defence, BAE SYSTEMS Avionics, BAE SYSTEMS Royal Ordnance, EPS Logistics Technology, Express Engineering, FR-HiTemp, ICI-Nobel Enterprises, Leafield Engineering, MetalWeb, NP Aerospace, Portsmouth Aviation, Raytheon Systems Ltd (RSL), Skeldings, Thales Missile Electronics.

Thales Air Defence welcomes the MOD’s decision on the Next Generation Light Anti-Armour Weapon (NLAW) and predicts additional jobs in NI

David Beatty of Thales Air Defence, SBD’s principle UK partner said, “We are proud to be playing a part in the production of a missile which is expected to have worldwide export appeal, with predicted sales of 80,000 to 100,000 weapons. This missile is second to none and we are pleased that the Ministry of Defence has put its trust in the MBT LAW team. The announcement will ensure a high level of technology transfer and Industrial Participation in the UK. The missiles will be assembled in Northern Ireland using capabilities gained from similar missile programmes such as Starstreak, Hellfire and VT1 and will result in more than 500 high quality, long-term jobs throughout the UK, up to 80 of which will be here in NI. For TADL this means the opportunity to exploit new technologies which will ensure a long-term future on this, and similar programmes.”

“I would like to thank all our local and national Government representatives who helped us make our case to UK Government. I believe that this solution is a very good example of smart acquisition in action.”

RSL’s Jim Trail said, “This is great news for raytheon and in particular for Glenrothes. Our Scottish facility will be playing a major role in the is programme.” RSL will be responsible for the circuit card assemblies for the weapon’s Central Electronics Unit.

Other companies benefiting include Thales Missile Electronics (TME) of Basingstoke. David Barnes, Chief Executive of TME, said “We are proud to be playing a significant part in the production of a missile which is expected to have excellent export prospects, with predicted sales of 80,000 to 100,000 weapons, all to be manufactured and supplied by Team MBT LAW.”

“This missile is second to none and we are pleased that the Ministry of Defence has put its trust in the MBT LAW team. The announcement will ensure a high level of technology transfer and industrial participation in the UK. This is an opportunity to exploit new technologies which will ensure a long-term future on this and similar programmes.

“We are delighted for all our team members, a group of 14 UK subcontractors selected by prime contractor Saab Bofors to meet the UK MoD’s requirement for 100% UK industrial participation in the NLAW programme.

The missiles will be assembled in the UK, using the Central Electronics Unit and Proximity Fuze Optical Assembly being manufactured by TME at Basingstoke, which will help maintain job security for TME’s 275 employees.

Comment: The award of this contract to the Saab team may be followed, given the current EDM motion of 103 signature

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