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Northern Powerhouse companies bring innovation to Defence industry
Emma Kennedy - November 9, 2015

Stretchers that weigh just 1.5kgs are amongst some of the innovations from Northern Powerhouse companies that have been praised by the MOD.

Speaking at the Northern Defence Industries (NDI) annual conference, Defence Minister Philip Dunne highlighted the invaluable and innovative work being carried out by Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SME’s) across the UK’s Defence industry.

As part of his key note speech, the Defence Minister revealed that £1.4m has been invested this year in 7,500 Xtract2 stretchers from Yorkshire based TSG associates. Designed by Gulf-war veteran Colin Smart and his company, the stretchers weigh just 1.5kg, compared to the weight of a standard stretcher of around 10kgs, and are capable of carrying three times the weight of an average soldier.

Following his speech to the NDI, Mr Dunne paid a visit to Merseyside-based ship engine specialist James Troop & Co to review progress of a £2m deal to replace the generator sets on seven Royal Navy Mine Hunters.

With the generators now in place on all seven ships James Troop will focus on training naval personnel on engine maintenance as well as providing on-going technical and spare parts support.

Defence Minister Philip Dunne said:

“We recognise that the UK’s defence contractors, whatever their size, are a vital source of innovation in our supply chain, and in the last year, the MOD has done business with over 5,400 Small and Medium Enterprises, worth over £800m.

“By harnessing this expertise, whether from a veteran with front line experience or from one of the UK shipping industry’s oldest companies, we are securing highly skilled UK jobs and ensuring our Armed Forces have the very best possible equipment available.”