Page last updated at 14:31 GMT, Tuesday, 18 May 2010 15:31 UK

AB Connectors creates 'high-skilled' jobs in Abercynon

Warthog armoured vehicle
The Warthog vehicles are being equipped by Thales UK near Llanelli

A company which makes equipment for the defence and transport industry is creating 40 new jobs after winning a £2m contract.

Cynon Valley-based AB Connectors is supplying equipment for all-terrain armoured vehicles which will be used by soldiers in Afghanistan.

The company said the new jobs were "great news for the valley".

The Warthog vehicles are being equipped by Thales UK at its new centre in Llangennech near Llanelli.

AB Connectors is involved in the design, test and manufacture of equipment often used in harsh environments.

The Warthog vehicle, with its installed electronic systems, represents a very significant military capability
Alex Cresswell, Thales UK

It will supply cabling and harnessing systems, and equipment to house communications kit, creating 40 "high-skilled" jobs.

Economy minister Ieuan Wyn Jones said: "Thales UK stated that it was keen to source materials locally, and to develop and build up a local supply chain where possible.

"I am pleased to hear that it is certainly doing that.

"The significant contract awarded to AB Connectors is excellent news as it has already created 40 new jobs and opens the door for potentially more business."

Thales is equipping the Warthog vehicles with over £150m worth of communications systems, specialist counter-measure equipment and extra protective armour.

The Warthog is described as a highly agile vehicle that can manoeuvre across difficult terrain, roll across trenches, tackle vertical obstacles, power-up steep gradients and cling to slopes.

More than 100 have been bought by the UK government and they will be deployed in Afghanistan as part of a new package of protected patrol vehicles.

Alex Cresswell, head of Thales UK's land defence business, said: "We look forward to working with AB Connectors, and other highly capable companies based in the area, to deliver this valuable capability to the UK armed forces.

"The Warthog vehicle, with its installed electronic systems, represents a very significant military capability."



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