The MoD has awarded Chelmsford-headquartered SELEX Communications an initial contract worth over £1m for Identification Friend or Foe electronics to be fitted to newly ordered aircraft carriers.
Defence Minister Lord Drayson said: ‘Today’s announcement is another milestone for the Future Aircraft Carrier programme. We plan to award further contracts for the production of equipment for these ships over the coming months as the shipyards begin their preparations for the start of construction work.
‘Beyond this first equipment order, the UK and France are cooperating closely in a number of key areas, and are exploring future joint procurement opportunities, notably for power and propulsion and some key aspects of the mission system.
‘This is a very exciting time for everybody in the MoD and in industry who are working on this project. We intend that the production of these ships will transform both the Royal Navy’s capabilities and Britain’s maritime industrial base over the coming years.’
The IFF equipment ordered today uses AI to help operators distinguish between friendly and hostile aircraft in complex combat scenarios. The equipment will be delivered in time to be fitted to the ships before they go into service later in the next decade.