Kent Periscopes Limited awarded £9m production contract by Lockheed Martin UK

The contract, which is worth over £9 million, is to deliver periscopes and sights for the new AJAX armoured vehicle programme.

Kent Periscopes has designed sophisticated new unity vision periscopes and a commander’s auxiliary sight, specifically for installation in the Lockheed Martin UK AJAX turret.

The production contract, which is creating six new jobs and sustaining a further 30 jobs at the company’s site in Denbighshire, North Wales, is anticipated to cover vehicle deliveries up to 2024.

UK Defence Minister Philip Dunne said: “As the British Army’s first fully-digitised fighting vehicle, AJAX is a step-change in technology. The innovative observation and sighting system for the vehicle’s turret, designed by the highly skilled workforce at Kent Periscopes, will ensure AJAX and our troops can operate in a wide range of environments.

“Work on the AJAX programme is sustaining hundreds of jobs across the UK, including in Wales. This £9 million contract is another demonstration of the tangible impact of our growing Defence budget and our £178 billion investment in the best possible equipment for our Armed Forces.”

John Oliver, Managing Director, Kent Periscopes Limited said: “We are delighted to have been selected to work in partnership with Lockheed Martin UK to design, develop and deliver a number of key elements of the observation and sighting system for this new turret.

“This has given us the opportunity to use our workforce’s skills and expertise to provide an optimised solution to meet a challenging set of requirements. The periscopes and sights have been designed in order to meet the challenging technical specifications that help ensure the vehicles are capable of operating across a wide-range of operating environments.

“Over the last 12 month Kent Periscopes has been engaged in a period of investment adding significantly to its staff numbers and facilities to support its growth in both the U.K. but also expansion overseas. Our plans are to continue to expand and it is highly likely that there will be another phase of recruitment and relocation into new larger facilities in the early part of 2016”.

Alan Lines, Vice President and Managing Director of Lockheed Martin UK’s site in Ampthill, where the AJAX turrets are being manufactured and assembled, said: “Our partnerships with small and medium-sized enterprises across the UK are essential to our success on these important programmes. Kent Periscopes’ experience and technical expertise will help us to ensure that the AJAX turret will provide soldiers with the very best sighting systems and the highest level of situational awareness.”