February 28th 2013 - Shadow Defence team visits General Dynamics UK
Shadow Defence Ministers from Her Majesty’s Official Opposition visited General Dynamics’ facilities in South Wales today. Shadow Secretary of State for Defence, the Rt Hon Jim Murphy MP, and Shadow Defence Ministers Alison Seabeck MP, Gemma Doyle MP, and Russell Brown MP, were briefed on General Dynamics’ wide range of capabilities and toured its facilities.
The Shadow Ministerial Defence Team visited General Dynamics’ “Centre for Future Army Systems,” which was recently inaugurated by the First Minister of Wales, Rt Hon Carwyn Jones AM. The Labour MPs were briefed on the Specialist Vehicle (SV), the British Army’s new state-of-the-art Armoured Fighting Vehicle (AFV), which was awarded in May 2012, and saw first-hand the new £12 million facility where SV is being developed.
General Dynamics will deliver the most modern medium-weight Armoured Fighting Vehicle (AFV) fleet in the world today for the British Army, featuring advanced ISTAR (Intelligence, Surveillance, Target Acquisition and Reconnaissance) capabilities and providing the best possible protection for the soldiers using it. The SV programme brings economic and industrial benefit to the UK, and currently sustains over 300 high-value jobs at General Dynamics UK. According to a November 2011 Ernst & Young report commissioned by General Dynamics, the programme will directly support nearly 500 jobs by the end of this decade, and another 700 across the supply chain and broader economy.
The Shadow Ministerial Defence Team briefing also included a visit to the Company’s R&D hub, known as the EDGE UK®, where SMEs, academia, and government work collaboratively with General Dynamics UK to develop innovative products for domestic and international customers. The visitors received briefings on the success of the Bowman Tactical Communications System currently used by the British Army, which has been delivered and continually developed by General Dynamics over the last ten years, and on the Company’s approach to the future of British Armed Forces tactical communications, LETacCIS. In addition, the Shadow Ministers were updated on General Dynamics UK’s Graduate Development Scheme, its recently launched Apprenticeship Scheme, and ongoing employee development programme as part of the Company’s continuing efforts to develop the skills necessary to maintain innovation and the knowledge-base within the defence and security industry in the UK.
Speaking during the visit, Rt Hon Jim Murphy MP said: “This is a great visit. General Dynamics make an enormous contribution to our Armed Forces’ ability to project force around the world and to protect themselves and others. The military and economic significance of companies such as General Dynamics means they need to be properly supported to innovate, export and to supply high quality employment.”
“We are delighted to have welcomed the Shadow Secretary of State for Defence, Rt Hon Jim Murphy MP, and his team to our facilities here in Wales from where we are delivering key programmes to the MoD and overseas customers, as well as helping small companies and academia bring their ideas to a bigger market,” commented Dr Sandy Wilson, managing director of General Dynamics UK.
General Dynamics UK is a leading land capability provider to the Ministry of Defence and the British Armed Forces, as well as providing security and resilience solutions to different sectors around the world, including utilities, transport, corporate facilities, public buildings and other critical infrastructure.
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