Thales, a global technology leader for the Aerospace, Transport, Defence and Security industries, has opened a new £1million facility at Yacht Havens' Turnchapel Wharf in Plymouth. The company plan to develop future autonomous and unmanned technology across air and sea, with investment in two new UK-based trials and training centres.

Following Thales’s successful trials during the Royal Navy’s Unmanned Warrior exercise in 2016, the group is now investing in two trials and training centres based in West Wales and in Plymouth, South-West England, to test and develop autonomous systems for both military and civil activities.

The new facility in Turnchapel Wharf, Plymouth, will be Thales’s maritime autonomy trials and training centre. The five year commitment by Thales secures 20 jobs and the aspiration to continue to grow their footprint. This waterfront facility will provide access to trial areas for development of cutting edge maritime autonomous systems and position Thales at the centre of future maritime autonomy capability. The facility will act as the key maritime integration, test and evaluation centre for the combined United Kingdom and French Maritime Mine Counter Measures (MMCM) Programme.

"Whether in the air or the sea, the UK is leading the way when it comes to autonomous systems. Thales’ announcement today is yet another example of that, and another way in which this innovation is supporting jobs right across the country.” - Harriett Baldwin, Minister for  Defence Procurement.

A 14 acre waterfront Business Park in Plymouth, Devon, Turnchapel Wharf is home to a range of local, national and international marine businesses. Previously a Ministry of Defence site, Turnchapel Wharf has undergone a major transformation into a modern, thriving space providing waterfront offices, workshops and warehouses for a wide range of marine companies.

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