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Byline: ENDA MULLEN News Reporter

A MANUFACTURER which supplies specialist body armour and armoured vehicles to the Ministry of Defence (MoD) is to close its Coventry operation.

Redundancy consultations have now begun with staff at Morgan Advanced Materials Composites & Defence Systems based on Foleshill Road.

Shocked staff at the company, formerly NP Aerospace Limited, were told the news last Tuesday.

One member of staff at the Coventry operation, who did not wish to be named, told Coventry Live: "Morgan Advanced Materials - Composites & Defence Systems have announced that they are exiting the Coventry business and propose to close the Foleshill Road site.

"This will result in mass redundancy, of which the initial consultation period began on April 24."

The member of staff said that there was a bitter irony in that the special protective suit worn by a member of the Army bomb disposal unit in Coventry this week after a home was raided in Brookside Avenue, Whoberley, and suspicious materials were found was made in Coventry.

They said: "The bomb disposal suit worn by the EOD officer during this week's Coventry incident was manufactured at Morgan in Foleshill ." A Morgan Advanced Materials spokesman said: "We informed staff that Morgan Advanced Materials plc is seeking a buyer for part of its Composite and Defence Systems business and will unfortunately be closing the remainder of its operations.

"This is due to reduced demand for some product lines.

"We have begun redundancy consultations and will continue to keep staff fully informed."

A spokesman for the trade union Unite said it was not involved as it did not have recognition at the Coventry site.

In December 2017 Morgan Advanced Materials announced it had won a PS4.49 million defence contract with the MoD.

The contract was for the Composites and Defence business of Morgan to deliver hard body armour designed and manufactured to bespoke requirements.

The company said the armour would be designed and manufactured at Morgan's UK factory in Coventry, drawing on the company's "class-leading composite armour technology capability".

The deal came a year after Morgan won a PS1.1m contract with the MoD to supply ballistic shields and supporting services. In April 2014 Morgan Advanced Materials was chosen to head up a multimillion pound Ministry of Defence contract to develop the latest fleet of Army vehicles.

The firm clinched the contract to support and develop the MoD's Cougar family of protected patrol vehicles.

Speaking in December last year Simon Pickin, president of Morgan's Composites and Defence business, suggested demand for the firm's products made in Coventry remained high.

He said: "Through a combination of extensive composite and ceramic materials knowledge, rigorous testing, and careful application, we are able to deliver ultra-lightweight body armour offering class leading levels of protection. From ballistic helmets, to rifle protected shields and personal armour plates, we are experiencing high demand for our range of ultralight personal armour from our global customer base.

"We continue to work with major defence and law enforcement organisations."

Body armour such as that which was used when the bomb squad was called out in the city last week, right, is made at Morgan on Foleshill Road, left
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Publication:Coventry Evening Telegraph (England)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:May 1, 2018
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