Northern Ireland

Thales: MoD places £48m missile order in east Belfast

Missile warhead Image copyright PAcemaker
Image caption Thales employs 450 people in Northern Ireland

The Ministry of Defence has placed a £48m order for missiles made in east Belfast by Thales UK.

A weapons system is being made for the Royal Navy.

Thales employs 450 people in Northern Ireland and 60 staff will work on the new missiles contract.

First Minister Peter Robinson said: "I congratulate Thales. This is welcome news for the Northern Ireland economy as it will secure 60 high quality jobs within Thales Belfast.

"The talents of Northern Ireland's manufacturing and engineering labour force are now held in high esteem across the global aerospace and defence industries and today's announcement is further evidence of this."

Enterprise Minister Arlene Foster added: "This is a significant contract for Thales and highlights the expertise and highly skilled workforce here in Northern Ireland.

"I'm pleased that Thales has maintained its relationship with Invest Northern Ireland over the years.

"The agency has been supportive of the company's ongoing activities to develop new capability and secure vital new contracts, particularly in undertaking complex research and development activity, that has helped it to develop world-class capability."