MBDA awarded £539 million missile contracts
MBDA has been awarded contracts worth a combined £539 million for new missile systems for the UK armed forces, the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) announced on 21 April.
Under the first £41 million contract, the Meteor Beyond Visual Range Air-to-Air Missile (BVRAAM) will be delivered for the UK's F-35B Lightning II squadrons, providing the Royal Air Force and Royal Navy with a missile that can engage with targets moving at speed and very long range. The contract will help de-risk the integration effort and includes the mixture of test assets, productionisation and engineering work needed to support Meteor's compatibility and use on the F-35.
The £175 million in-service support contract for the anti-air Sea Viper weapon system will ensure that the Royal Navy's Type 45 destroyers continue to provide protection from air attack to the extended fleet. The missiles will be maintained, repaired and overhauled as and when required to ensure continued capability. The Sea Viper missile protects ships against multiple threats, including missiles and fighter aircraft.
The third contract worth £323 million is to purchase the next batch of air defence missiles for the British Army and Royal Navy. The CAMM missile is designed for use both at sea and on land, providing the capability to defend against anti-ship cruise missiles, aircraft and other highly sophisticated threats. CAMM will be deployed using the Sea Ceptor and Land Ceptor weapon systems that will protect the Royal Navy's Type 23 and future Type 26 warships, as well as enhancing the British Army's Ground Based Air Defence system.
Dave Armstrong, managing director of MBDA UK, said: 'MBDA is delighted by the continued trust placed in us by the MoD and the British military. The contracts announced today for Meteor, CAMM and Sea Viper will help protect all three UK armed services, providing them with new cutting-edge capabilities and ensuring their current systems remain relevant for the future. They will also help to secure hundreds of high-skilled people at MBDA UK and in the UK supply chain, maintaining the UK's manufacturing base and providing us with a platform for exports.'
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