A TECHNOLOGY giant has opened a £10m base in Southampton which will employ 530 people.
The new Selex ES facility in Millbrook was officially opened at a ribbon-cutting ceremony yesterday.
Among the technology which will be developed at the site in First Avenue will be state-of-the-art infra-red cameras for use by armies across the world and technology for use by commercial airlines and military air forces.
The firm has had offices in Southampton for decades, with its centre of excellence for infra-red detectors having been based in the city for 50 years.
The new facility has brought that office and other branches in Christchurch and Portsmouth together under one roof.
Fifty staff from Portsmouth and 250 workers from Christchurch will join their colleagues from Southampton in the new base.
And although no new jobs are currently being created, the new facility will allow for future expansion.
A wide range of technology will be developed there, including long-range communication systems, radio products, naval communications and infra-red detectors and cameras for commercial, industrial and military use.
There will also be air-traffic management systems, information systems for use by Network Rail, sensors and other devices for use on un-manned air drones and electronics for use on super-tankers.
The new centre was officially opened by Janice Munday CBE, the director of Advance Manufacturing and Services at the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, and Selex ES chief executive Fabrizio Giulianini.
Mr Giulianini said: “We have had a presence here in Southampton for several decades and our continued investment means that we have been able to bring together the people and expertise from a number of sites on the south coast into this single centre of excellence.”
Mrs Munday, 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 per cent of its output is something that we in the department of Business, Innovation and Skills want to encourage and support.
“As this new facility opens today the future looks bright for Selex ES and the UK defence and security sector as a whole.”