Motor parts made in Wolverhampton found in Yemen cluster bomb

By Richard Guttridge | Wolverhampton | News | Published:

Motor parts made in Wolverhampton were used in a cluster bomb dropped in war-torn Yemen.

The aftermath of an explosion in Yemen, where the civil war started in 2015

The parts were found among debris recovered from airstrikes in the capital Sana’a and, according to their labels, were manufactured at Goodrich in Wolverhampton.

The firm was based on Wobaston Road until it was taken over by United Technologies Corporation in 2012, leading to the formation of Collins Aerospace which currently operates from the site.

The revelation about parts made in the city being used to cause destruction in Yemen - a nation where around 100,000 people are believed to have been killed since 2015 as a result of the war - has caused alarm and led to questions about how they ended up there.

It is not known how the parts came to be used in a bomb.

Cluster bombs are banned under international law because they cause indiscriminate harm over a large area.

Aerospace giant Goodrich was American-owned and exported its products all over the world. It counted the likes of Boeing among its customers and landed military contracts.

The Wolverhampton link to the conflict, which has raged between a Saudi-led coalition and the Yemeni Houthis, has sparked concern.

The UK Government has faced uncomfortable questions about its policy of selling arms to Saudi Arabia.


The discovery, which was revealed by The Guardian, was raised in Parliament by Labour MP Lloyd Russell-Moyle. The brushless DC motor parts are said to have been used in cluster bomb sensors.

Mr Russell-Moyle said: “The Government needs to clarify whether it granted an export licence for these components and, if so, what action it has taken to ensure that other parts are not illegally used in banned cluster bombs.

"But the discovery of Saudi cluster bombs begs a bigger question: what on earth is a British ally doing using these banned weapons?”

Wolverhampton MP Pat McFadden said the discovery of the parts was “surprising” but if they were “standard parts that get exported everywhere” they could be “easy to get hold of”.


John Spellar, Labour MP for Warley, who has been an outspoken critic of the Government’s foreign policy in the past, said it was “clearly a matter for concern”.

He added: “There has to be proper accountability. We should be asking questions about this particular case. There is opposition to cluster bombs because we know how much is left around and gets picked up by kids.

“I don’t know what the history of this is, what evidence there is of who used it and when it was manufactured or sold. The Government should be investigating as it has been made aware of this.”

UTC has been contacted for comment.

Richard Guttridge

By Richard Guttridge
Investigations Editor - @RichG_star

Investigations Editor for the Express & Star.

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