The OneMBDA strategy is now starting to deliver. This initiative which involves industrial specialization in centres of excellence located in France and the UK, focusing on key technologies, has just enabled the first exchange of products made by one country for the benefit of the other.
As such, the first production standard fin actuation system for the French MMP land combat missile programme was delivered by MBDA’s Lostock UK site at the beginning of the year. This actuation system is currently undergoing qualification at MBDA’s actuator centre of excellence in Stevenage, in preparation for the series production of the missile which will be integrated in Selles-Saint-Denis, France.
At the same time, the first four test equipment units produced by MBDA’s Bourges facility in France for the UK’s Brimstone programme have been delivered to Lostock where this air-to-ground missile is being produced. These test units, developed around a common core that will feature in all the company’s future test equipment, will allow for the rationalization of tooling, logistics and the training of technical teams across the group.
On the event of this double success, Antoine Bouvier, CEO of MBDA, stated: “We are now seeing a decisive step in the process initiated by the UK and French governments through the Lancaster House Treaty. These cross deliveries of equipment between the two countries are a vivid demonstration of MBDA’s commitment to support the essential sovereign capabilities of the two nations at the lowest possible cost. This is the first step in support of the principle of interdependence and we are looking forward to the inter-governmental agreement that will set the conditions for the bulk of French and British programmes to reap the full benefits of this specialisation logic within MBDA.”
About Centres of Excellence
With the Lancaster House Treaty signed in December 2010, France and the UK committed to a ten-year strategic plan for the missile sector which envisaged a consolidation of the two industrial bases in missiles through increased interdependence. The two countries also indicated that the missile sector would serve as a test case for further joint activity in other sectors within the defence industry.
MBDA has put this political decision into practice through the setting up of centres of excellence by type of technology, with the full support of the French and British governments in implementing that very innovative initiative. In this respect, an initial group of four centres of excellence has been identified to launch this strategy and to meet the needs in due course of the bulk of MBDA’s French and British programmes. These four are: test equipment and weapon controllers (located in France) and actuators and data links (located in the UK).