New Missile Defence System

30 January 2012, 12:24 | Updated: 30 January 2012, 12:31

The Royal Navy have announced plans for a new defence system to destroy enemy missiles, which will partly be built in Stevenage.

Sea Ceptor missiles fired from Royal Navy warships will be able to reach three times the speed of sound and protect and area of around 500 square miles over land or sea.

The £483m contract to develop the cutting-edge missile defence system has been awarded to MBDA (UK).  The Ministry of Defence say the five-year project will keep around five hundred people in jobs at MBDA and their supply chain at facilities across the UK, including Stevenage, Hertfordshire, Filton in Bristol and Lostock in Bolton.

Defence Equipment Minister Peter Luff said "The development of this missile system is a huge boost to the UK's world-leading missile industry and once again proves our commitment to providing battle-winning technology to our armed forces.''

The head of the Navy, Admiral Sir Mark Stanhope, added: "This new weapon system will equip our frigates to deal with the type of sophisticated missile threat expected in the coming decades.

"Investment in advanced defence technology, such as Sea Ceptor, is vital to ensure the Royal Navy's continued ability to defend the UK's interests wherever necessary."