Finmeccanica – Selex ES has officially inaugurated its brand-new £10 million facility in Millbrook Industrial Park, Southampton, UK. The new base brings together the company’s three previously separate South Coast sites in a single Southampton location, which now employs around 530 people.

The company’s commitment to the region includes supporting a supply chain of over 540 regional suppliers and partnering with local Universities, including the University of Southampton, Imperial College, Oxford, Reading and UCL, to retain world-leading technology advantage.

Southampton has been home to Finmeccanica – Selex ES’s centre of excellence for infra-red detectors for over 50 years. With the opening of the new First Avenue site, the city will now also play host to some of the firm’s communications and air traffic management products and a number of key airborne and marine technologies. This major new commitment to the future of the company in the city has involved the relocation of over 250 highly-skilled employees from Christchurch and 50 from Portsmouth.

In preparation for the move, the existing Southampton site has been extensively redeveloped to create a modern technology hub for the design, manufacture and support of a wide range of electronic systems for the defence, security and civil marketplaces. A modern new office facility has been constructed and the current manufacturing building has been refurbished.

The key objective of the South Coast consolidation in Southampton is to enhance the competitive market position of Finmeccanica – Selex ES by co-locating a number of highly-skilled teams and improving efficiency. Teams will be better able to collaborate and share technology development, resulting in lower costs and more competitive products. Building on successful business operations in the UK and in export markets, employees at Southampton will be a significant focus for growth within Finmeccanica – Selex ES.

Janice Munday, director of Advanced Manufacturing and Services, Department of Business, Innovation and Skills said, "It's encouraging to see a company that is going from strength to strength thanks to investment in innovation, a highly skilled workforce supporting a diverse engineering base and a strong UK supply chain across the South Coast Region.

"The fact that through this investment Selex ES in the UK exports a fantastic 60 percent of its output is something that we in the department of Business, Innovation and Skills want to encourage and support."