A technology company has received a major boost after being named part of a new £25 million military contract.

Brighton-based EDO MBM Technology is one of five companies included in a new deal for laser-guided bombs with the Ministry of Defence announced today (Monday, December 3)

The move has been hailed as a job securing deal for firms although protestors claimed the move would act as a “recruiting tool” for their movement.

The new deal for additional Paveway IV bombs will be carried by Tornado jets in Afghanistan, and are also set to be carried by new Typhoon and Lightning II aircraft.

The weapons were used during last year's air campaign over Libya and use GPS technology which the MoD claims will allow the UK to conduct 24-hour attacks against a range of targets.

The agreement with Raytheon UK is set to sustain around 450 jobs at the firm's UK plants as well as also support jobs at Raytheon's subcontractors including EDO which is based at Home Farm Business park, Brighton.

Campaigner's view

Smash EDO campaigners claim that as well as the Paveway bombs being used by the British Armed Forces in Iraq and Afghanistan, the bombs have also been used by the United States and Israel.

Campaigner Andrew Beckett said: “I think this announcement just confirms what we have been saying about EDO, that they are at heart a bomb factory.

“They have denied this in the past but this announcement just goes to show it is true.

“The original announcement about Paveway in 2004 goes right to the beginning of our campaign.

“The expertise of staff at EDO could be used for something more socially useful rather than just adding to international conflicts.”

Minister for defence equipment, support and technology Philip Dunne said: "This highly sophisticated UK-developed and manufactured weapon is the backbone of the RAF's precision bombing capability.

This contract to boost the MoD's weapon stocks will sustain hundreds of skilled jobs in the defence manufacturing sector in both Scotland and England.”

No one from EDO MBM was available for comment yesterday.

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