Firm gets boost from £53m armed forces kit order

SEEING CLEARLY The new binoculars, which weigh half as much as the previous standard issue
SEEING CLEARLY The new binoculars, which weigh half as much as the previous standard issue
Chancellor Philip Hammond holding his red ministerial box outside 11 Downing Street, London, before heading to the House of Commons to deliver his Budget

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BRITISH troops are set to benefit from up to £53m of new equipment supplied by a Fareham business.

The Ministry of Defence (MoD) has purchased new night vision and laser equipment from GMK, which is in Concorde Way.

The equipment will help troops identify targets more clearly.

More than 15,000 new lightweight, ergonomic binoculars have been ordered to be used alongside the upgraded laser lights. Designed to be easier to hold, the new models are 50 per cent lighter but still offer excellent magnification to give better situational awareness.

The MoD has also bought more than 4,000 additional head-mounted night vision systems specifically for the Army Reserve.

They allow soldiers to operate in poor light or in dark tunnels and buildings and better identify both threats and other personnel.

On a visit to see the equipment being tested out at the Infantry Trials Development Unit in Wiltshire, Philip Dunne, minister for defence equipment, support and technology, said: ‘The ability to see further and in more detail will allow British troops to stay one step ahead of danger.

‘The multi-million pound investment makes clear the MoD’s commitment to equipping our armed forces, including reservists, with world-class, battle-winning technology.

‘These binoculars, laser aimers and night vision goggles will improve situational awareness and reduce collateral damage across the battlefield.’

Lance Corporal Herbline Biscette, of the 2nd Battalion Royal Regiment of Scotland, tested the equipment before it was delivered to forces.

He said: ‘This new kit will help us to stay accurate and heighten awareness in difficult, low-light conditions. Being able to mark our targets from so far away means that we can prepare for the situations ahead and do the job with confidence.

‘This kit also gets tested virtually to destruction, so we know that it won’t let us down.’