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Army £229m deal for anti-tank weapon systems

Thousands Next Generation Light Anti-Tank Weapon (NLAW) systems will be assembled in Northern Ireland and delivered to the British Army, Defence Secretary Ben Wallace has confirmed.

The £229m deal has been agreed with Swedish manufacturer, Saab, weapons, to be assembled at Thales’ facility in Belfast, Northern Ireland.

Using the hand-held launcher, a single soldier can take out a modern battle tank to up 800m away.

The UK has provided thousands of NLAWs to Ukraine to support the defence of their nation following Russia’s invasion in February.

The Defence Secretary said: “These next generation light anti-tank weapons have played a decisive role in supporting Ukraine’s army to drive back Russia’s illegal invading forces.

“Working with our first-class industry partners, we are continuing to fulfil our commitment to NATO by ensuring our Armed Forces will receive a steady supply of these weapons over the coming years, whilst supporting UK jobs across the length and breadth of the country.”

Secured through Defence Equipment and Support – the MOD’s procurement arm – today’s agreement will see several thousand units delivered to UK Armed Forces across 2024-2026, in addition to around 500 being delivered in 2023 through a separate procurement.

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NLAW is a shoulder-launched missile system that attacks a tank from above. It combines the simplicity of light anti-armour weapons with the advantages of heavy, crew-operated guided missile systems.

It is as a result of this agility, reliability and accuracy that the NLAW has been an important capability in Ukraine’s fight back against Russia’s illegal invasion, making up part of the 10,000 anti-tank weapons the UK has supplied to the Ukrainian armed forces.

The UK continues to be actively engaged with industry, allies and partners to ensure we can equip Ukraine with vital military support while replacing, at pace, equipment and munitions granted in kind from UK stocks.