Edinburgh, Fife & East Scotland

Raytheon wins £25m MoD laser bomb contract

Royal Air Force technician attaches a Paveway 4 laser guided bomb to the underneath of a Tornado GR4 aircraft in the Middle East.
Image caption Paveway IV is currently being used in Afghanistan on Tornado jets

Raytheon UK has secured a new £25m contract to supply more laser-guided bombs to the Ministry of Defence.

The Paveway IV weapons will be carried by Tornado jets in Afghanistan, as well as the new Typhoon and Lightning II aircraft.

The MoD said the deal would sustain about 450 jobs at Raytheon's UK plants - 300 in Glenrothes, Fife, and 150 in Harlow, Essex.

The Fife plant will be responsible for the guidance control section.

The contract will also support jobs at a number of Raytheon subcontractors - Portsmouth Aviation; Exelis in Brighton; Chemring in Ardeer, Ayrshire; and Thales in Basingstoke, Hampshire.

The MoD has awarded more than £100m of contracts to Raytheon UK for about 1,600 Paveway IV bombs this year.

The weapons were used during the air campaign over Libya last year.

'Highly sophisticated'

They use Global Positioning System (GPS) technology and enable air crew to reprogram the weapon during a mission, allowing them to attack a wider range of targets.

Philip Dunne, the minister for defence equipment, support and technology, said: "This highly sophisticated UK-developed and manufactured weapon is the backbone of the RAF's precision bombing capability.

"This contract to boost the MoD's weapon stocks will sustain hundreds of skilled jobs in the defence manufacturing sector in both Scotland and England.

"By balancing the defence budget, we are able to commit with confidence to equipment programmes which help to safeguard our national security."

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