North East Wales

Denbighshire's Qioptiq wins 'massive' £82m MoD contract

Qioptiq in St Asaph Image copyright Google
Image caption Qioptiq employs about about 560 workers at its St Asaph (pictured) and Bodelwyddan sites.

A Denbighshire firm has won an £82m defence contract to maintain surveillance and targeting equipment for the UK's Armed Forces.

The six-year deal with St Asaph-based Qioptiq, which will create eight jobs, was announced by the Ministry of Defence (MoD) on Monday.

Qioptiq will service equipment such as night-vision goggles and weapon sights.

Welsh Secretary Alun Cairns said it was an "enormous vote of confidence in the Welsh economy".

The Welsh Government is investing £2.5m in a new purpose designed facility for the company.

It comes after the announcement in November that the Flintshire-based Defence Electronics and Components Agency at Sealand would help repair F-35 fighter plane components in a multimillion pound deal.

MoD Parliamentary Under Secretary Harriett Baldwin announced the new Surveillance Target and Acquisition Support deal at the IDEX trade show in Abu Dhabi on Monday.

She said: "This deal will provide our troops with the equipment they need to stay safe, while also delivering £47 million of savings."

Image copyright Crown Copyright

The savings came from 20 separate support contracts being merged into one deal, she revealed.

Mr Cairns said the "massive" contract "underlines Wales' reputation as a world leader in the defence technology sector".

"This enormous vote of confidence in the Welsh economy demonstrates that we offer the highly-skilled workforce and facilities that investors need," he added.

The contract covers equipment from across the Armed Forces, from frontline infantry and Royal Marine soldiers, to military specialists such as bomb disposal experts and includes infantry periscopes, laser aimers and target-locating equipment.

The Welsh Government is constructing a new 24,000 sq ft facility on land it owns next to Qioptiq's premises at St Asaph Business Park.

Mr Skates said: "I am delighted the Welsh Government was able to support the company's successful bid from the early pre-qualification stage through to the development of a purpose designed facility that is vital to deliver the contract."

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