In a strategic partnership with Saab, the UK-based Abbey Group has embarked on assembling the Barracuda Mobile Camouflage System (MCS) units near Liverpool, northwest England.

The partnership promises to deliver camouflage systems for the British Army’s Ajax armoured fighting vehicles.

The UK MoD has revised in-service dates for the Ajax armoured vehicle programme and initial operating capability (IOC) is anticipated between July and December 2025, and full operational capability (FOC) is expected between October 2028 and September 2029. 

“By establishing manufacturing facilities close to our customers, we not only enhance in-country defense capabilities but also ensure timely and efficient delivery of critical products,” remarks Daniel Nordström, director of marketing and sales at Saab’s Barracuda business unit.

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Abbey Group’s managing director, Adam Kelly, emphasises the positive impact of the partnership on local manufacturing and employment opportunities. “This collaboration has already created significant job opportunities in the local area, with plans for further expansion,” says Kelly, highlighting the role of partnerships in driving economic growth.

Underlining the strategic significance of the deal, Alex Alderson, vice president and director of land systems for Saab in the UK, emphasises the potential for future export markets. “The expertise and capabilities demonstrated by Abbey Group position them as valuable partners for expanding our reach beyond domestic requirements,” Alderson explains, hinting at the possibility of leveraging UK-manufactured camouflage systems in global defence contexts.

Beyond fostering economic growth and technological advancement, the partnership shows Saab’s commitment to knowledge sharing and technology transfer. With Abbey Group personnel undergoing training at Saab’s production facility in Sweden, the collaboration serves as a platform for mutual learning and skill development.

As Saab and Abbey Group forge ahead with their collaboration, the deal echoes Saab’s previous partnerships to bring Barracuda production closer to customers. With a facility established near Ontario in 2022 to cater to North American markets, Saab continues to strengthen its global footprint while nurturing local manufacturing.

In the realm of defence technology, the partnership between Saab and Abbey Group represents a strategic alliance geared towards driving economic growth on both local and global scales.

Last year, Saab unveiled an enhancement to its Barracuda Ultra-Lightweight Camouflage Screen, integrating Frequency Selective Surface Technology (FSS) to allow selected frequencies to penetrate the net while providing multispectral protection.