Finmeccanica welcomes Secretary of State for Defence the Rt Hon Michael Fallon MP to its advanced electronics facility in Edinburgh
- The Secretary of State visited the site which is home to some of the country’s most highly-skilled engineers and is recognised for its graduate and apprentice schemes
- Finmeccanica is the largest inward investor in the UK’s defence and security sector and in Scotland develops world-leading technology central to the UK’s export drive
- The UK’s strong science base and the Government’s long-term commitment to skills and technology allow Finmeccanica to develop innovative products to meet the country’s defence and security requirements
Secretary of State for Defence, the Rt Hon Michael Fallon MP, today visited Finmeccanica’s centre of excellence for defence and security electronics in Edinburgh.
The Secretary of State was received by Norman Bone, who leads Finmeccanica’s Airborne & Space Systems Division. At the Edinburgh site, highly-skilled scientists and engineers at the forefront of European manufacturing develop state-of-the-art radar and electronic systems.
The Rt Hon Michael Fallon MP said: “Britain’s defence relies on Scottish brainpower. We’re backing that brainpower by increasing the defence budget every year of this decade, meeting the NATO 2 per cent spending commitment and investing £800m in innovation. Together with our pilots at Lossiemouth, our submariners at Faslane and the Army regiments, that puts Scotland right at the heart of the nation’s defences.”
Norman Bone said “I am delighted to welcome the Secretary of State to our Edinburgh site. We are proud of our support to the UK’s Armed Forces, and of the innovative way we develop advanced technology to make sure it’s available where and when our customers need it. Our systems are an essential part of the future on all types of operations. In Finmeccanica, our commitment to investment in the UK’s defence and security sector is seen in our research, in developing our people, and in the partnerships we build with companies across the UK and in export.”
During his visit, the Secretary of State met Dr Carol Marsh, a leading engineer from the Division. In February, Carol won an Everywoman in Technology Award for her work inspiring students to consider engineering as a career and for her mentoring of female engineers. She is also the designate Chair of the Institution of Engineering and Technology in Scotland.
Finmeccanica’s Airborne & Space Systems Division spans the UK and Italy. It delivers breakthrough technologies for the British and Italian armed forces as well as to a global customer base. In addition to playing a leading role in international programmes such as the Eurofighter Typhoon, Tornado and Gripen, the Dvision provides a number of advanced system including airborne radar for surveillance and defence applications and a world leading laser capability for aircraft protection.
The Airborne and Space Systems Division has a world-wide supply base, approximately 60% by spend in the UK, of which 70% are SMEs. The Edinburgh-based radar business unit spends £90M per annum with UK partners and suppliers, with spend in Scotland predicted to exceed £20M p.a. over the next 5 years. This covers a range of high technology services from academia and design, through to sub-contract manufacturing and includes more than 80 companies in Scotland, of which three quarters are SMEs. These valuable suppliers bring skills and agility to complement our own workforce, sustaining an estimated 1000 Scottish jobs in the supply chain.
Over 1,900 people are directly employed at Finmeccanica’s site in Crewe Toll, Edinburgh, designing and producing high-tech products and services based on airborne radar, advanced lasers and electro-optic systems. In 2013 the Edinburgh site celebrated its 70th anniversary.
Today the site is a centre of excellence for both microelectronics and lasers. To ensure that such cutting-edge technology will be available into the future, the company invests in extensive research and development programmes and continuing professional development opportunities for its staff. It runs highly-rated apprenticeship and graduate schemes. Finmeccanica in Edinburgh has won two Queens Awards for Enterprise in 2010 and 2011 for Innovation and International Trade. It also holds an Investors in People Gold Award and was recently recognised with the Investors in Young People accolade.