The Chief of the General Staff, General Sir Patrick Sanders, also saw how Cook Defence Systems is supporting armoured vehicles in service in Ukraine.
Cook Defence Systems is the world’s leading independent designer and manufacturer of track systems for armoured vehicles. Its tracks are in service on almost all the tracked vehicles in the British Army and with many other allied forces around the world.
During his visit, the Chief of the General Staff learned about the company’s work as a key supplier to the British Army’s new AJAX and Challenger 3 programmes, its success as an exporter and its ongoing investment in its manufacturing facilities in the North East of England. This year, Cook Defence Systems is spending £2 million on new plant and machinery to increase capacity.
The four-star general met with some of the company’s employees including apprentices and graduates. Cook Defence Systems employs 125 people and is one of the largest private sector employers in Weardale. The company supports many more jobs in the regional supply chain and sources the majority of its steel from within the UK.
Mr William Cook, director of Cook Defence Systems, said: “It was a privilege to host General Sir Patrick Sanders and show him everything we are doing to support the mobilisation and modernisation of the British Army. Everyone who works at Cook Defence Systems is proud to support British troops and to be world leaders in what we do.”
Cook Defence Systems supplies British allies in Europe, the Middle East, South East Asia and Australia. Exports will account for nearly 50 per cent of its sales this year.
The Chief of the General Staff was joined on his visit by Chris Bushell, Director General (Land) at Defence Equipment & Support, which manages defence procurement on behalf of the UK armed forces.