Maritime defence industry flourishing despite Brexit

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PORTSMOUTH’S maritime defence industry is flourishing despite uncertainty following the Brexit vote.

BAE Systems employs some 4,000 people in its maritime services wing in the Solent area and has recorded a £76m boost in profits in its latest half-year review.

In the past six months alone the firm won a £13.5m contract to build 60 new Pacific 24 Mark IV rigid inflatable boats, launched a major demonstration of new unmanned technologies and welcomed a record-breaking number of new apprentices to the ranks.

The defence giant also opened its new £2.5m Skills and Development Centre in the Portsmouth Naval Base and is now close to finishing the £100m refit of the base in preparations for the arrival of the Royal Navy’s new aircraft carrier, HMS Queen Elizabeth, next year.

Mike Howarth, the managing director of BAE’s maritime services, said the future was looking bright for the company in Portsmouth.

He added he was excited to see the new carriers in the city.

‘We continue to make good progress in delivering cost savings under our five-year contract to support half the Royal Navy’s surface fleet and provide facilities and warship support services.’