Thales is set to invest in two new UK-based trial and training centres to test and develop future autonomous and unmanned technologies.
The new facilities will require a total investment of £7m and are expected to help sustain approximately 60 local job opportunities.
The two testing and training centres are slated to be developed in West Wales and in South West England.
UK Defence Procurement Minister Harriett Baldwin said: “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.”
Thales UK CEO Victor Chavez said: “Investing in these facilities enables the safe test, evaluation and training of autonomous platforms, innovative research and development, as well as the regulations for military and civil applications.
“These facilities will be central to the growth of Thales’s future autonomous capability.”
One of the two facilities will be a new £1m maritime autonomy trials and training centre, and will be developed in Turnchapel Wharf, Plymouth.
The company's five-year investment at this centre will secure roughly 20 job opportunities.
The waterfront facility will provide access to trial areas for development of latest maritime autonomous systems.
It will also serve as the major maritime integration, test and evaluation centre for the combined UK and French maritime mine countermeasures (MMCM) programme.
Image: Thales maritime system at DSEI 17. Photo: courtesy of Thales Group.