21 Apr 2017

£539M investment in state-of-the-art missile systems announced

The Secretary of State for Defence, Sir Michael Fallon, has today unveiled a trio of new contracts for missile systems with a combined worth of £539M.

These contracts apply to the state-of-the-art Meteor, Common Anti-air Modular Missile (CAMM), and Sea Viper missile systems at MBDA Stevenage.

Having secured the deal, the Ministry of Defence now hopes to equip its Armed Forces with the best protection possible to safeguard a new compliment of Queen Elizabeth Class Carriers from any current or emerging threats.

Furthermore, the sizable contract will sustain more than 130 highly skilled jobs for MBDA across the UK, with missile modification and service support to be carried out in Stevenage, Henlow, Bristol and Bolton.

Secretary of State Sir Michael Fallon said: “This substantial investment in missile systems is vital in protecting our ships and planes from the most complex global threats as our Armed Forces keep the UK safe.

“Backed by our rising Defence budget, these contracts will sustain high skilled jobs across the UK and demonstrate that strong defence and a strong economy go hand in hand.”

Of the £539M sum, £41M will go towards the Meteor air-to-air missile system which will arm the nation’s F-35B Lightning II squadrons. Both the Royal Air Force and Royal Navy are to be equipped with “a world beating missile” – one that is able to engage targets moving at high speed over long distance. The Meteor will enter service on the Typhoon in 2018 and the F-35B from 2024 onwards.

A further £175M will fund an in-service support contract for the anti-air Sea Viper missile system, which will enable the Royal Navy’s Type 45 Destroyers to provide unparalleled protection against any and all airborne manoeuvres.

The remainder – a whopping £323M – will allow for the purchase of the next iteration of cutting-edge air defence technology, known as CAMM, for the British Army and Royal Navy both. This is to be designed and manufactured by MBDA UK across sites in Bolton, Stevenage and Henlow.

Tony Douglas is Chief Executive Officer of Defence Equipment and Support – the MOD’s procurement organisation. He said: “Work on these cutting-edge missiles, which will help to protect the UK at home and abroad and secure jobs across the country, demonstrates the importance of Defence investment. That is why, working closely with our industry partners, we continue to drive innovation and value into everything we do; securing next generation equipment for our Armed Forces at the best possible value for the taxpayer.”

Dave Armstrong, Managing Director of MBDA UK, added: “MBDA is delighted by the continued trust placed in us by the Ministry of Defence 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.”

All images courtesy of MBDA Systems.

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