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British defense secretary cuts ribbon for new missile factory

Staff Writer | July 3, 2018
British Defense secretary Gavin Williamson officially opened a missile factory described as a jewel in the crown in the country's defence industry.
Defense   Almost 700 staff are employed
Almost 700 staff are employed making multi-million-dollar missiles for British soldiers, warships and fighter jets at the factory at Bolton in Greater Manchester.

Williamson unveiled a plaque to mark the completion of five years of work and $65 million worth of investment into the high-tech site run by weapons firm MBDA.

A spokesperson for the Ministry of Defense (MOD) said: "It marks a major milestone for the new site, where design, engineering and manufacturing experts are producing state-of-the-art equipment and systems. Complex weapons being built there will go on to do everything from arming F-35 fighter jets to protecting British troops and Royal Navy ships."

Williamson said: "This factory shows how strong the British defense industry is to our national prosperity. MBDA's investment has created new jobs, and this has been supported by a 400 million pound ($525 millio+) contract from the government. You can't have prosperity without security."

The company's links to the area stretch back more than 80 years when the first site opened to manufacture propellers for warplanes in World War II.

The new facility will now replace the original site and provide a cutting-edge solution, designed to meet the modern requirements of the MOD and worldwide export customers.

It will significantly improve the company's manufacturing and test capabilities, said the MOD.

The Bolton factory also works on the Sea Ceptor missile, which entered service on the Type 23 frigates in May and provides a powerful shield against airborne threats for Royal Navy warships.

The new facility will also support the Anglo-French "One Complex Weapon" Centers of Excellence initiative, a cross government scheme which will allow MBDA to develop cutting-edge technology in both Britain and France.