Defence minister: New contracts securing Crawley jobs

Defence Minister Harriett Baldwin
Defence Minister Harriett Baldwin

For the third time in a month, new MoD contracts are benefiting Crawley employer Thales with dozens more high-skilled local jobs and apprenticeships protected as Thales help build the technology our armed forces need to stay safe in the most dangerous parts of the world.

It should make us all proud to know that every day people living and working in Crawley are playing an important part in the security of our country. The ground-breaking technology they are helping to develop protects our brave armed forces in situations all over the world, in land, air and sea.

Today’s announcement of a £269 million deal for Crowsnest marks a major step forward in surveillance systems to protect the Royal Navy. The deal will secure 90 jobs in Crawley as some of the Britain’s brightest minds develop a system which acts as the eyes and ears for the Queen Elizabeth Aircraft Carriers, the largest warships ever built for the Royal Navy.

This innovative and sophisticated technology will keep our forces at the cutting edge, protecting our ships by providing long range air, maritime and land detection and tracking capability. The state of the art system will be fitted to Merlin helicopters, enabling them to detect submarines and help in times of crisis, most recently playing a key role in the response to the migrant crisis in the Mediterranean.

It is crucial that communities across Britain prosper from our investment in Britain’s Armed Forces. Sir Michael Fallon, the Defence Secretary, has secured a rising defence budget and is now rolling out our decade-long £178 billion defence equipment programme.

Today’s announcement will be the third multi-million pound contract signed by this Conservative government since the start of 2017 that will directly benefit Crawley.

Earlier this month I announced a £410 million contract supporting our new A400m transport planes for the RAF, this followed a £271m contract for a Wildcat helicopter programme.

More high-skilled jobs protected and contributing to the local economy, building further on record high employment rates across Crawley and Sussex.

By gaining a significant chunk of almost a billion pounds worth of contracts and protecting scores of high-skilled local jobs it is clear that Crawley is punching above its weight.

This is in no small part due to the ambition for the town expressed by local MP Henry Smith and Conservative-run West Sussex County Council; both are tireless campaigners for jobs, apprenticeships and investment in Crawley and Sussex.

These multi-million pound investments in Crawley demonstrate how the Conservatives are delivering world-leading, innovative equipment to our Armed Forces and ensuring that the highly-skilled British work force do it.

We are able to stay at the forefront of new technology as a result of this government’s record on the economy which has seen employment reach new highs. Further proof that Theresa May’s Conservatives are building a country that works for everyone, not just the privileged few.

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