In a few days, an innovative approach to defense equipment research will be delivering its first results. MBDA, at the heart of a partnership bringing together French and UK efforts in the field of missiles, is co-ordinating a team that includes large businesses, SMEs, laboratories and universities.
The Innovation and Technology Partnership on Materials and Components for Missiles (MCM ITP) is being performed under a Technical Arrangement between French Delegation Generale pour l’Armement (DGA) and UK Ministry of Defence (MOD) to optimise missile research activities.
The sharing of the results from within the research themes of this sensitive defence sector will be presented at the MCM ITP (Materials and Components for Missiles – Innovation & Technology Partnership) conference which will take place at the Grand Palais in Lille (in the north of France) on 22nd and 23rd June 2009.
For the first time, two countries are sharing advanced research results as well as their aspirations for technology breakthroughs in subject areas such as: co-operative guidance of multiple missiles; miniaturised active antennae based on MEMS (Micro-Electro-Mechanical Systems) technology; UV fluorescence for target discrimination ; dual mode seekers ; thrust modulation in rocket motors; modular effect warheads and intelligent materials allowing for morphing, namely the continuous deformation of aerodynamic control surfaces.
In December 2007, MBDA, Europe’s missile systems champion, was awarded a three-year contract (extendable to five years) to carry out the first ITP partnership between France and the UK. With an annual budget of 14 million euros, this programme brings together the missile industry of the two countries, and notably, the SMEs, universities and state laboratories.
Commenting on the results of this first year of activity by the MCM / ITP teams, Steve Wadey, Executive Group Director Technical and Managing Director of MBDA UK, said: “The Materials and Components for Missiles ITP is delivering significant benefits to our Customers in France and the UK by developing and maturing of a variety of new and emerging technologies in the field of missiles.
“In addition to these new and emerging technologies, we can also see that the ITP is beginning to carve out the direction for our next generation of co-operative missile programmes in Europe. The designation of MBDA as leader of a research programme as sensitive as MCM ITP is an additional recognition of the work already achieved by the Company and the benefits of co-operative programmes like Storm Shadow/SCALP, PAAMS/Aster and Meteor”.
MCM ITP is an R&T programme focussed on missile technologies managed by MBDA, in partnership with key French and British companies in the sector (Thales, Selex, Roxel, Microturbo, QinetiQ, Nexter). The MCM-ITP is aligned into eight technical domains, each of which led by an MCM-ITP Consortium industrial partner. The programme is funded equally by the governments and the industrial partners and is composed of research projects on innovative and exploratory technologies and techniques for future missiles. There is a strong participation from SMEs and academia.
DSTL is representing the government interests of Science Innovation Technology (SIT) – Defence Technology and Innovation Centre (DTIC), part of UK MoD and DET (Direction de l’Expertise et des Essais) are representing DGA (Délégation Générale pour l’Armement). The Government representatives take a leading role, through the provision of strategic guidance, technical assurance and governance.
With industrial facilities in four European countries and within the USA, MBDA has an annual turnover of EUR 2.7 billion and an order book of EUR 11.9 billion. With more than 90 armed forces customers in the world, MBDA is a world leader in missiles and missile systems. MBDA is the only group capable of designing and producing missiles and missile systems that correspond to the full range of current and future operational needs of the three armed forces (land, sea and air). In total, the group offers a range of 45 missile systems and countermeasures products already in operational service and more than 15 others currently in development.