Posted: Tue 8th Mar 2016

First Minister visits General Dynamics Land Systems-UK’s facility in Merthyr to welcome new jobs to Wales

This article is old - Published: Tuesday, Mar 8th, 2016

First Minister of Wales Carwyn Jones will visit Merthyr today for the official inauguration of General Dynamics Land Systems-UK’s new assembly, integration and testing facility for the British Army’s new Armoured Fighting Vehicle. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

The First Minister said the Welsh Government played an integral role in helping General Dynamics Land Systems-UK establish the facility in Merthyr. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

The investment, which will create 250 jobs at Merthyr and safeguard a further 300 at Oakdale, has been supported by a loan from the Welsh Government towards capital costs associated with establishing the new facility. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

General Dynamics Land Systems-UK was awarded a £3.5bn Ministry of Defence contract to deliver 589 AJAX vehicles (previously known as SCOUT SV) and the assembly, integration and testing element will now be undertaken at Merthyr. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Speaking at the inauguration of the new site at the former Linde plant the First Minister said: ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

“We’ve built a strong and close working relationship with General Dynamics – one of our anchor companies – and we have supported a number of their key projects that have brought new work and technology to Wales and created hundreds of new jobs. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

“I am delighted we were able to support this latest, strategically important, investment and welcome the considerable associated economic benefits it will create. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

“To bring this project to fruition we pulled out all the stops; we worked side by side with General Dynamics from the very early stages of the project and played an integral role in helping secure this investment and jobs for Wales. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

“Today’s news is great for Merthyr and great for Wales. This is General Dynamics’ third facility in Wales which will enhance Wales’ reputation as a first class advanced manufacturing location.” ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

The First Minister added that the AJAX vehicles were actually designed in Wales – at the Oakdale R&D facility – and it was fitting that the high value assembly, integration and testing element will be fulfilled in Wales. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

The Merthyr facility – which has capacity to support future expansion – will become a UK centre of excellence and leader in the Armoured Fighting Vehicle market. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

General Dynamics employs around 550 highly skilled people at its facility in Oakdale, 300 of which are involved in the AJAX programme. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

The company was also awarded a £390 million contract to provide in-service support for the AJAX fleet until 2024 and that work will also be undertaken in Merthyr. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​



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