MBDA signs accord to buy German missile motor company


European missile systems group MBDA has signed an agreement with EADS and Thales to purchase German rocket motor company Bayern-Chemie / Protac. The agreement is subject to the approval by the European Commission and various regulatory approvals.

Bayern-Chemie / Protac is a group jointly owned by EADS Deutschland GmbH (50%) and Thales S.A. (50%). MBDA, represented by MBDA Deutschland / LFK-Lenkflugkörpersysteme GmbH (LFK), intends to acquire the shares from EADS and Thales. After the clearance by the authorities, Bayern-Chemie / Protac will be a subsidiary of LFK (100%).

Bayern-Chemie / Protac has an annual turnover of around €53m and employs 178 personnel in Bayern-Chemie, Germany (Aschau am Inn) and 89 employees are based in Protac, France (La Ferté Saint Aubin). The company is the design authority for a range of missile propulsion systems including the Meteor ramjet which provides the new six-nation Meteor Beyond Visual Range Air-to-Air Missile System with the capability to exceed speeds in excess of Mach 3 thereby giving pilots the advantage in any in air combat scenario.  MBDA is Bayern-Chemie / Protac’s main customer.

MBDA’s Group Strategy & Planning Director, Giuseppe Snider, said: “The purchase of Bayern-Chemie / Protac is another decisive step in consolidating the European missile systems industry under the leadership of MBDA.  In a strongly competitive market, Bayern-Chemie / Protac will reap the benefits of being part of MBDA, a world-wide leading missile systems company.”

Werner Kaltenegger, Managing Director of MBDA Deutschland, commented: “The agreement between MBDA, EADS and Thales creates the framework to keep the industrial basis for highly advanced missile propulsion technology in Germany and to fulfil the needs of our German customer in the future. But this agreement also paves the way for a successful continuation of the Meteor programme using Bayern-Chemie’s unique ramjet know-how.”