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'Son of Patriot' hits Basildon

Essex welcomes Javelin missile plant

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The news that the UK has today opened a new high-tech assembly facility for the Javelin shoulder-launched missile in Basildon, Essex, certainly raised a few eyebrows down here at Vulture Central.

It's not that we don't consider Basildon the perfect location for such a venture - after all, the warring tribes of East London's hinterland will certainly welcome the availability of heavy ordnance on their doorstep - it's just that we're a bit concerned about the project itself.

According to the MOD press release:

The BAE Systems Production Facility, which will employ more than 30 staff, will make the advanced guidance system for Javelin, the shoulder-launched missile system.

Javelin will provide UK troops with a marked increase in firepower. It is light enough to be carried by just two men, yet capable of destroying the most heavily protected tanks and armoured vehicles.

Although an American designed weapon, Javelin will be constructed in the UK, sustaining around 300 UK jobs in total. Javelin has proved itself in combat and has been recently deployed by the US in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Oh no, we're starting to get that queasy feeling:

The £300 million contract to supply the new missile system was awarded to a joint venture between Lockheed Martin and Raytheon last year.

That settles it: we advise all Basildon car owners to immediately evacuate a six-block area around the assembly plant - it's only a matter of time before a Javelin indulges in a bit of "blue-on-blue" - identifying your Ford Mondeo as an Iraqi tank and blowing you all the way to Epping Forest. You have been warned. ®

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Patriot missile: friend or foe?
'System error' downed RAF Tornado

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