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Prince Charles gives engineers 'a big thumbs up'

The Prince of Wales said he was proud of engineering work during a visit to south Wales on Friday.

The Prince paid a visit to visit to Blackwood firm General Dynamics UK, which has been given the go-ahead to make more than 500 bespoke vehicles for the Ministry of Defence in a contract worth £3.5bn. He went on to give an impromptu speech at how the staff were doing a tremendous job.

The Prince said, “It's a wonderful demonstration of British and Welsh engineering and it's a great thing that this country has a remarkable track record of producing engineering talent.

“I've been so pleased to see what are unbelievably complex and sophisticated programmes and the fact that you are working with the army at such an early stage. I hope you feel proud at what you feel produce because it certainly makes me feel proud of what you've managed to do.”

As well as seeing prototypes of the new Scout vehicles, which are expected to come into force in the next decade and harbour some of the most sophisticated reconnaissance military technology in the world, the Prince also got to test out some military communication devices.

He also praised experts at General Dynamics, who have managed to combine the Bowman communications system with a state-of-the-art sniper detection device called Boomerang.

Although the system has yet to be used by UK forces, if rolled out if would sniff out hidden gunmen and display their exact position on a map. General Dynamics project manager Chris Coleman, 31, said the Prince appeared genuinely impressed with the tech on display.

Coleman added: “The Scout vehicles hold some of the most sophisticated technology in the world and His Highness asked a lot of questions about them. You could tell he knew his stuff and had a real passion for engineering, too.”

A couple of weeks ago, whilst on a visit to Scotland, the Prince took control of a robot and guided the machine through an obstacle course at an event to mark National Women in Engineering Day.

On that occasion, Prince Charles arrived in Edinburgh on the Royal Train and was taken to Selex ES, one of Scotland’s major engineering firms, where he was soon at the helms of a 'rampaging chariot'. He guided the robot around a short obstacle course without knocking down a single object, being cheered by the engineering staff.

The Prince, known as the Duke of Rothesay when in Scotland, has been championing engineering as a career and has launched his own engineering centre at Dumfries House in East Ayrshire, which aims to boost science, technology, engineering and maths subjects among schoolchildren.

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