AN east Belfast arms manufacturer has secured a deal worth over £100 million to supply military equipment to Indonesia.
The lucrative contract is for missiles and defence systems made by Thales UK at its factory off Montgomery Road.
It is great news for 500 workers at the factory after 50 staff were axed last year over a downturn in orders.
Prime Minister David Cameron was praised today for his help in securing the order.
Mr Cameron said: “This deal is great news. It will help secure highly-skilled jobs in Northern Ireland.”
The deal with the Indonesian ministry of defence includes the supply of Starstreak missiles and radar systems.
Victor Chave, chief executive of Thales UK, said: “I would like to express my gratitude to the prime minister for his personal support and the support of the government.
“It makes a huge difference to the industry and our customers.”
French firm Thales bought over what use to be the Shorts Missiles Defence plant in east Belfast over 12 years ago as owners Bombardier decided to concentrate its efforts on aircraft design and build
Enterprise Minister Arlene Foster said Thales had a “global reputation” and had been working hard to secure new export business.
“This valuable contract represents a break through in air defence sales for Thales UK and will help sustain jobs at the firm’s sites in Northern Ireland,” she said.
“Thales operates at the cutting edge of engineering and has benefited from Invest Northern Ireland support over the years to develop and extend its design capabilities, manufacturing skills and meet the needs of international customers.”