LONDON (Reuters) - U.S. defense contractor Lockheed Martin (LMT.N) said on Tuesday it had won a 642 million pound ($1 billion) contract to upgrade Britain’s fleet of Warrior armored vehicles, supporting around 600 British jobs.
Lockheed Martin said, under the Warrior Capability Sustainment Programme (WCSP), it would be responsible for upgrades and enhancements extending the vehicles’ service life to beyond 2040.
“The WCSP will provide a highly capable vehicle to fulfill the British Army’s current and future requirements. It will also bring significant job opportunities for our team of suppliers based here in the UK,” Alan McCormick, managing director in Lockheed Martin UK’s Ampthill business, said.
The total cost of the upgrade is around 1 billion pounds ($1.6 billion) of which Lockheed Martin can expect to book about two-thirds with the remainder going to other contractors.
Reuters had reported earlier on Tuesday that the deal would be confirmed when British Prime Minister David Cameron and the new Defense Secretary Philip Hammond visited Lockheed Martin’s plant in Bedford, north of London.
“The upgraded Warriors will give commanders and their soldiers greater flexibility and firepower,” Hammond said. “It also represents a great boost to British industry - sustaining jobs, skills and capability within the UK’s armored vehicle sector.”
Only Lockheed was left in the running to carry out the work after British defense group BAE Systems (BAES.L) was eliminated earlier this year by the Ministry of Defense.
($1 = 0.627 British Pounds)
Reporting by Rhys Jones, Mohammed Abbas and Neil Maidment; editing by Paul Hoskins and Matt Scuffham