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Two big contract wins for Stockport military manufacturer WFEL as 120 jobs created

Categories: Advanced Manufacturing


Related sector

Advanced Materials

It's a 'significant milestone' for the UK's programme to create Boxers - armoured fighting vehicles

Around 120 jobs are to be created at Stockport-based WFEL after the manufacturer won two big contracts to help the Ministry of Defence build specialist vehicles.

The Greater Manchester firm, which makes military bridges and builds Boxers (armoured fighting vehicles) has sealed a 10-year deal with German company Krauss-Maffei Wegmann (KMW) for the production of hulls for new vehicles.

That's alongside a further contract agreed with the British Army at the end of last year to assemble, integrate and test around 250 boxer vehicles.

It's been described as a "significant milestone" for the wider UK Boxer Mechanised Infantry Vehicle Programme.

Ian Anderton, WFEL’s managing director, said: “The Boxer vehicles are amongst the most advanced armoured vehicles in the world and WFEL’s new state-of-the-art Boxer production hall, currently nearing completion, will be one of the most advanced military vehicle manufacturing facilities of its type.

"We have already contracted with a number of UK suppliers for the construction, site infrastructure and security facilities for this new production facility.

“The signing of these latest contracts with KMW means that WFEL can confidently move forward to implement the next stages of the UK Boxer manufacturing programme.

"In doing so, we are offering a significant number of long-term career opportunities for highly skilled personnel to work on producing these advanced military vehicles, which will provide key defence capabilities for the British Army as part of its Strike Brigade."

In November 2019, ARTEC, a joint venture between two German companies – KMW and Rheinmetall – signed a £2.3bn contract to deliver 500 Boxer Mechanised Infantry Vehicles to the British Army.

The vehicles will be manufactured in the UK, with production sub-contracted equally between WFEL and Rheinmetall BAE Systems Land in Telford.

According to WFEL, the next phase of the programme will mean its officials develop welding practices specific to the manufacture of armoured steel hulls for highly protected vehicles - "further developing a key skill for the UK Military Land sector".

On successful completion of rigorous training, personnel will play a "crucial part" in the production of the Boxer vehicles in Stockport.

WFEL said it expects to create around 120 jobs at the Stockport site.

Mr Anderton added: "We look forward to engaging with yet more supply chain partners as we move another step closer to the first of these uniquely modular military vehicles rolling off our production lines and being delivered to the British Army.”

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