10 May 2024


We were delighted to welcome the Minister for Defence Procurement James Cartlidge and the UK Ministry of Defence to our Stockport manufacturing facility to see where every Boxer for the British Army starts life. All were impressed by the progress made to date and witnessed the first UK-built Boxer Drive Module come off the production line.

During the visit, the visitors were able to spend time with the highly skilled team of welders, fitters and mechanics who are working on the new armoured vehicles and hear about the extensive technology transfer programme between KNDS Germany and KNDS UK. With over 60% content by value, the project is reshoring UK industrial capacity in the defence sector and fulfilling the aspirations of the UK’s Land Industrial Strategy. In addition to manufacturing all the hulls for the British Army’s new armoured vehicle, KNDS UK is also responsible for the assembly, integration and testing of the vehicles.

As part of the tour, the guests also visited the Bridging facility where the Medium Girder and Dry Support Bridges are made. They met with the team and learned about the number of ongoing projects for both the British Army and for overseas military customers that the team is currently working on, including Project Tyro which will equip the British Army with the latest generation of rapidly deployable military bridging.

With a growing workforce of over 300 and a strong order book to boot, KNDS UK is a significant employer in the North West, where it has been operating out of the same site in Heaton Chapel since 1915. And as the business continues to expand, there are a number of active roles available from Boxer to Bridges which are updated on a weekly basis on the Careers page of the website

21 February 2024


KNDS UK (formerly WFEL Limited) has awarded a three-year contract to UK-based TFC for the supply of components used in the assembly and integration of the Boxer Armoured Vehicles for the UK MoD which are being manufactured at their Stockport facility. This is an important step to increase capacity for not only the UK MoD Boxer programme, but also the overall international Boxer programme managed by OCCAR, the Organisation for Joint Armament Cooperation. There are four participating nations (Germany, the Netherlands, Lithuania and the UK) and the programme is delivered through the prime industrial partner, ARTEC GmbH, a joint venture between KNDS and Rheinmetall.

TFC will support KNDS from its local operations in the North of England, from where they support British manufacturing throughout the region, helping businesses navigate global supply chains and ensuring they get the best out of global material supply sources.

The contract comprises a Vendor Managed Inventory agreement (VMI) to streamline KNDS’s inventory management, with TFC restocking KNDS’s stock levels based on data delivered by electronic data interchange (EDI). This managed supply solution includes both direct and indirect parts such as fasteners and fixings and various production consumables, with TFC collaborating with the KNDS team to ensure continuous momentum and process efficiencies as part of the supply chain services.

Commenting on this latest contract awarded as part of KNDS’s UK-wide Boxer vehicle supply chain roll-out, KNDS UK’s Managing Director, Ian Anderton, said:

“We are proud to welcome TFC to our growing UK supply chain, as we deliver the Boxer armoured vehicles to the British Army. The partnership demonstrates our commitment to a long-term collaborative approach in supporting UK manufacturing and innovation.”

Morgan Burgoyne, President of TFC, commented: “We’re delighted to be working with KNDS on the UK Boxer programme. TFC is the European arm of AFC Industries, a global provider of VMI solutions with a group turnover in excess of $650M and employing over 1200 people worldwide. For over 60 years, we have provided VMI solutions and technical engineering products, covering both specialist and C-Class components for various industrial applications.”

Further UK job creation and sustainment has been seen throughout the KNDS UK Boxer supply chain which is set to further expand as the Boxer Programme progresses. Marking a significant milestone in the programme, the first two prototypes arrived in Millbrook at the end of last year to commence joint army-industry trials allowing the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers to begin their familiarisation training on the state-of-the-art armoured vehicle later this year.

12 February 2024


The Fairey Band is one of the most successful contesting brass bands in the world. Founded in 1937 by employees at the Fairey Aviation Works in Stockport, the band achieved many musical successes under the brilliant direction of Harry Mortimer, their Musical Director for over thirty years. Since those early days, the band has won every elite band event on the contest calendar, including the National Championships of Great Britain on nine occasions and the British Open an incredible 16 times. 

With impressive versatility, the band has welcomed innovation and enjoyed further recognition outside the confines of the Brass Band movement, with its involvement in the ‘Acid Brass’ project. Under this banner, they’ve adapted to a very different musical concept, performing at various rock and pop festivals around the UK and overseas, bringing brass bands to new audiences. 

The band has always maintained its association with the ‘Fairey’ company, which has operated on the same site since 1915 with the band still rehearsing at the original factory here in Heaton Chapel. With several name changes over the course of its existence, reflecting the evolution of the company – Williams Fairey, Williams Holdings and most recently WFEL Limited – the band is proud to take on the new name of the company and will now be known as The KNDS Fairey Band, as well as (historically used in banding circles) Faireys.

“This evolution marks a thrilling chapter in our band’s rich history,” says Nigel Beasley of the KNDS Fairey Band. “We are grateful for the ongoing support and this new alignment strengthens our shared commitment to musical excellence and community engagement.”

As Ian Anderton says: “We’re proud to support The KNDS Fairey Band, music bridges cultures and brings people together. This partnership is about investing in our community, preserving our heritage and promoting the talent of tomorrow’s artists.”

25 January 2024


Bridging the gap: essential military bridging contract secures 300 UK jobs

  • £150 million contract for cutting-edge Army bridges to secure around 300 UK jobs in North West.
  • New bridges can extend almost 50 metres across land or water and carry weight of British Army tank.
  • High-tech capability is interoperable with UK’s NATO partners.

British Army battlefield mobility will be bolstered in a new £150 million contract for military-grade general support bridges which will secure 300 UK jobs.

Stockport-based company KNDS UK (formerly WFEL Limited), which has a long history of manufacturing military bridge systems, will deliver the support bridges based on their Dry Support Bridge design.

Extending up to 46 meters and able to carry the weight of the Army’s future tank, the Challenger 3, the bridges can be used to cross both wet and dry gaps.

Enabling the safe movement of personnel and equipment across the battlefield, the bridges will also ensure the resupply of forward fighting elements and humanitarian aid in disaster relief situations.

Replacing the BR90 ABLE system previously in service with the British Army, the new capability will be interoperable with other NATO partners’ bridge systems, meaning that resources can be shared between nations during joint exercises and deployments.

Minister for Defence Procurement James Cartlidge said:

“This is a fantastic example of this government delivering on our Land Industrial Strategy – investing in UK industry and delivering world-class bridging capabilities to our Armed Forces.

“Securing hundreds of jobs in Stockport, this contract is a crucial step forward in our military capability, improving interoperability with our NATO allies as we work closer together.”

The £150 million contract for General Support Bridges has been placed by Defence Equipment and Support as part of Project TYRO. TYRO will provide a significant capability improvement for the British Army, facilitating the mobility of future Armoured Brigade Combat Teams, and equipment across gaps in the terrain.

Defence Equipment & Support Fires, Infrastructure & Manoeuvre Support (FIMS) Portfolio Lead Mr Mark Bunyan said:

“Military Equipment Bridging is the bedrock of successful operations and is vital to ensuring that our personnel can move around a battlefield in the safest and quickest way.

“Project TYRO GSB will enable the UK to maintain an operational advantage and is a great example of British Industry supporting UK Defence Capability.”

The TYRO general support bridge system will be one of the world’s most technically advanced, rapidly deployable military bridges and will be mounted on Rheinmetall MAN Military Vehicle (RMMV) HX2 tactical trucks.

AHQ DProgs – Col Adam Foley, SRO for Military Engineering Capability said:

“Project TYRO GSB has been an excellent example of close collaboration with industry and our NATO and ABCANZ partners to meet our bridging requirements now and into the future.”

Managing Director, KNDS UK - Ian Anderton said:

“We are delighted that the British Army will join the ever-growing community of Dry Support Bridge users. The Dry Support Bridge is a proven capability that is manufactured in the UK and exported globally.

“Project TYRO also marks over 50 years as a prime contractor to the UK MoD and we remain very proud to support the UK Defence Capability".

19 June 2023

WFEL Ltd., rebranded as KNDS UK


KNDS, the merger of the German and French land defence systems providers Krauss-Maffei Wegmann (KMW) and Nexter harmonises its brand image so that from now on Krauss-Maffei Wegmann, Nexter and all of their subsidiaries will appear exclusively under the single brand KNDS.

Their consolidation and joint strategic governance will make a significant contribution to the standardisation and interoperability of land forces in Europe and the other customers of Europe’s defence industry.

The future of European Land Systems is here - KNDS.

21 March 2023

Further UK MoD Boxer Sub-contract Award

WFEL has awarded a three-year contract to Chesterfield-based Wesco Anixter for the supply of components to be used in the assembly and integration of the Boxer Armoured Vehicles for UK MoD which are being manufactured at WFEL’s Stockport defence manufacturing facility.

This contract comprises a Vendor Managed Inventory agreement (VMI) to streamline WFEL’s inventory management, with Wesco Anixter replenishing WFEL’s stock levels based on data delivered by electronic data interchange (EDI).  This managed supply solution includes both direct parts such as Fasteners and Fixings and indirect production consumables, allowing Wesco Anixter to work in close collaboration with the WFEL team to drive continuous improvement and process efficiencies as part of the value-added supply chain services.

The awarding of this contact by WFEL means that a number of UK jobs at Wesco Anixter will be both created and sustained, in order to fulfil the three-year contract.

Commenting on this latest contract awarded as part of WFEL’s UK-wide Boxer vehicle supply chain roll-out, WFEL’s Managing Director, Ian Anderton, said:

“WFEL demands components of the highest quality from its sub-contractors, together with exceptional service levels – and Wesco Anixter meets our rigorous requirements in this respect.  We are, therefore, delighted to welcome Wesco Anixter to our ever-growing UK supply chain, as we move closer to delivering the Boxer armoured vehicles to the British Army.”

Following an extensive technology transfer programme from Germany, the UK Boxer Programme is creating 120 additional jobs at WFEL and sustaining a further number, in addition to creating a new, vibrant and robust UK supply chain to support the vehicles throughout their 30+ year life. WFEL is currently recruiting for a number of new roles at its North West site.

Further UK job creation and sustainment is already being seen within WFEL's growing UK-wide supply chain, which is set to further expand as the Boxer Programme progresses.

Photo: Copyright - Netherlands Ministry of Defence

8 February 2023


WFEL IS HIRING - more exciting new roles in Defence Manufacturing now available at our dedicated facility in the North West, working on Boxer Armoured Vehicles and Rapid-deploy Military Bridging Systems for our Military customers in the UK and overseas.  

We offer a variety of career-enhancing roles in a number of different disciplines, including:

  • Design Engineers
  • Supply Chain/Logistics
  • Purchasing
  • Welders
  • Fitters
  • Multi-skilled Engineers

Our Careers Page  https://www.wfel.com/careers  is regularly updated with fresh new roles available.

Take a look now https://www.wfel.com/careers

You can find out more about WFEL here:

18 January 2023

Expansion for WFEL’s Design Engineering Function

With increased defence spending amid ongoing instability, many militaries worldwide are enhancing their defence equipment capabilities as the war in Ukraine continues.  An increase in orders for military equipment manufactured by WFEL means that the company is now expanding its Mechanical Engineering Design Team and looking for talented and experienced professionals to join the company, to work on a variety of exciting, interesting and challenging projects for our Military customers, both in the UK and worldwide. 

WFEL is already renowned as a leading worldwide supplier of our rapidly deployed Military Bridging Systems and is also a key partner in the manufacture of new BOXER Armoured Vehicles for supply to the UK MoD.

The company offers great opportunities for self-motivated Design Engineers and those looking for a new challenge for 2023 can find out more on WFEL's dedicated Careers page:  https://www.wfel.com/careers which also details a range of our other current vacancies.

15 November 2022

WFEL Showcases Mobile Bridges at NIDV 2022, Rotterdam

WFEL is showcasing its military bridging systems at NIDV in Rotterdam on 18th November 2022.

As seen in Disaster Relief operations following severe flooding in Europe, WFEL's rapidly deployable military bridging systems are increasingly called upon for deployment to provide emergency temporary infrastructure during natural disasters.

WFEL is discussing its range of rapidly deployable bridging systems alongside colleagues from KMW during this year's NIDV event in Rotterdam.  WFEL's DSB Dry Support Bridge and the MGB Medium Girder Bridge are already held in inventory by many militaries worldwide.

At 120 Military Load Classification (MLC), the DSB can get traffic and supplies moving over a 46-metre gap in less than 90 minutes using just eight soldiers and a single launch vehicle: crucial in rapidly escalating combat, homeland defence or disaster relief scenarios - when every second counts.

Both DSB Dry Support Bridges and MGB Medium Girder Bridges have been proven on operations worldwide, including in Iraq and Afghanistan.

7 September 2022

Irish Defence Forces Sign New Bridging Contract with WFEL

WFEL is delighted to announce that it has contracted with the Irish Defence Forces for supply of the MGB Medium Girder Bridging System.  The Irish Defence Forces have chosen the 31m double storey MGB variant, which can be erected in various configurations to cover the full range of military and emergency bridging requirements and will be supplied complete with handrails, making the system adaptable for use not only during military operations but also in Disaster Relief and Emergency scenarios, such as the severe flooding situations seen in Europe recently.

The Irish Military have been users of WFEL's MGB Medium Girder Bridging System since the late 1970s and are therefore already familiar with the many benefits of this versatile, modular bridging system.  The Corps of Engineers - military engineering branch of the Defence Forces of Ireland - will take delivery of the new MGB bridging.  The Corps is responsible for combat engineering and construction engineering services, providing engineering on the battlefield and has successfully leveraged its skill and expertise in several of the Irish Army's deployments on United Nations operations.

Colonel Damian McEvoy, Director of Engineering for the Irish Defence Forces, said, "As long-time users of the Medium Girder Bridge system, we are already familiar with its many benefits and, by updating our bridging assets with the latest version of the MGB, we will continue to be equipped with the most versatile, modular bridging system available, allowing our Engineering Division to rapidly react to situations both on and off the battlefield. 

"Of particular importance to us is the lightweight nature of the MGB system, not only for reducing transportation weight, but to enable the bridge components to be handled by our troops without the need for mechanical aids".   

With over 500 systems already supplied to militaries around the world, the MGB modular military bridging system provides interoperability with any other MGB of any age and is already adopted by many NATO members. WFEL's MGB has been deployed and proven on NATO operations worldwide.

A full support and training package is included in the contract and the Irish Defence Forces can expect delivery of their new bridging assets by the end of 2023.

Tom Winney, Business Development Director at WFEL, said, "We are delighted to be working closely with the Irish Defence Force once again and refreshing their military bridging stocks with the latest MGB systems, to provide vital engineer capabilities.  We are seeing increased interest in our MGB bridging systems worldwide, due to their modular and versatile nature, as forces worldwide recognise the need for rapid gap-crossing capability to ensure unrestricted manoeuvre for vehicles of up to 70 tonnes.”


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