Wales is a cornerstone of UK defence operations, through provision of workforce skills, as well as the availability of secure sites and airspace. More recently, we’ve added new strengths to our infrastructure. These include training, systems and defence technologies. Around 100 companies in Wales are involved in creating defence applications such as software, biometrics, optical design and imaging.
One example is Airbus Defence and Space. From its base in Newport, the company is developing defence communication and information systems using local expertise and ingenuity. Working in South East Wales, with General Dynamics, Axiom and TT Electronics nearby, these companies have been able to access a highly skilled workforce – as well as the MOD’s procurement base, just a short drive away in Bristol.
Such an active Aerospace and Defence sector provides a ready market for businesses such as Qioptiq, which designs and manufactures night vision systems for the MOD. Another is Babcock, which maintains the RAF fast-jet training fleet at RAF Valley on Anglesey, and QinetiQ, experts in defence, aerospace and security.
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