The expansion has included the appointment of two additional CAD design personnel, and three composite manufacturing trainees.

The two-year operative training programme will focus on a range of composite skills, including high and low temperature prepregs, vacuum infusion techniques and the development of traditional laminating skills.

Tods Defence, part of W & J Tod Ltd, moved its specialist marine defence engineering team to the company’s Portland site in 2007 to enable the establishment of a dedicated facility for the design, development and manufacture of acoustic enclosures for surface ships and submarines. Tods' products are specified by more than 20 navies. Recent projects have included Bow Sonar Domes for US Navy DDG Zumwalt destroyers, Royal Navy Type 45 surface ships and Astute submarines, the Royal Australian Navy Hobart Class and Spanish Navy S80 submarine programme.

"Tods have developed a specialist technical leadership in the design and engineering of composite materials and stealth technology which is now widely acknowledged," notes Steve Burton, Managing Director Tods Defence. "The typically long lead times from concept to actual ship build programmes requires long-term strategic planning. Our programme of investment in the important area of design engineering and matching the productive skill set to enable manufacture for ships that may be built a generation from now, is a statement of intent for Tods to remain as a world leader in the production of Sonar Domes and acoustic structures.”