MPs to examine defence manufacturing and cyber security in Wales
The Welsh Affairs Committee has today launched a new inquiry examining defence manufacturing and cyber security in Wales.
There are over 160 companies supporting the defence sector that are based in Wales including Airbus, Kent Periscopes, Raytheon and Qioptiq.
Wales’ defence sector is enhanced by the Ministry of Defence’s (MOD) Defence and Electronics Components Agency (DECA), based in north Wales, which has a £0.5 billion contract with the US Department for Defense.
There are concerns that a decrease in investment from the MOD will erode the prominence of Wales’ defence sector.
In recent years, the number of jobs and small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) in the sector has declined and MOD spending in Wales has fallen by £300 million since 2018.
The Committee will examine trends in defence spending and how SMEs can benefit from available opportunities.
Over the course of the inquiry, MPs will look at how important the sector is to the Welsh economy, investigate the opportunities for growth and examine the role of the UK Government in further promoting the defence sector in Wales.
Welsh Affairs Committee Chairman, Stephen Crabb, said: “From maintaining fighter jets to hosting one of the most advanced aircraft surveillance and intelligence systems in existence, in Wales we have a ground-breaking defence sector that is routinely punching above its weight.
“However, MOD investment in Wales has decreased, as have the numbers of jobs and SMEs in the Welsh defence sector. Over the course of our inquiry, we will be considering the future opportunities and challenges to ensure defence industries in Wales – from defence manufacturing to cyber security – thrive.
“The defence sector is a major employer and helps support local economies across our nation and it is in all our best interests to support Wales’ defence prowess.”
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