Dr Julia Reid MEP, who represents the South West Counties & Gibraltar, welcomes the news that a new Ministry of Defence deal for a helicopter surveillance system will sustain 210 highly skilled British jobs.

The £269m deal with Lockheed Martin marks the beginning of the lengthy manufacturing process on the new Crowsnest helicopter surveillance system. This will reportedly provide long range air, maritime and land detection, and tracking capability to Royal Navy ships through a helicopter-borne surveillance system.

The new Crowsnest system, which will be integrated into the Merlin Mk2 helicopter, is being designed for use by the new Queen Elizabeth Class ships.

Dr Julia Reid MEP had this to say: “This is excellent news, I am completely in favour of the rising Defence budget, especially when it comes to deals like these which will undoubtedly help to keep our aircraft carriers safe as they deploy on missions around the globe.

“In addition to this, this deal has secured 210 high-skilled UK jobs, and I’m pleased to add that 60 of which, are in the South-West constituency with Leonardo Helicopters in Yeovil, Somerset.”

Dr Reid concluded by saying that she had “absolutely no doubt, that this deal with be beneficial to both our Armed Forces and the UK economy”.