France Approves Anti-Ship Missile Development Program With UK

  • Our Bureau
  • 11:53 AM, May 7, 2013
  • 3344

French Minister of Defense Jean-Yves Le Drian on Tuesday said that his country will develop and build a new anti-ship missile with the UK. A move that will allow European missile maker MBDA to consolidate industrial capabilities.

“The French-British initiative, launched with the Lancaster House treaties of November 2010, is an excellent example which others will follow I hope,” Le Drian said in an April 29 speech at the Ecole Militaire staff college as he presented the white paper on defense and national security. “I extended it with agreements signed last July in the area of future combat drones and tactical drones, and furthermore by the inclusion, totally new, of the anti-ship missile in our planning, to accelerate the integration of our missile industries.”

Both Britain and MBDA have spent months lobbying France to join the program for a helicopter-borne missile, dubbed anti-navire léger (ANL) here and future anti-surface guided weapon (FASGW) (Heavy) in the UK.

The total development cost is €500 million (US $657 million) shared equally between London and Paris, with a further €150 million for France to integrate the missile on French Navy helicopters, according to reports. Much of the French cost comes from flight trials to demonstrate safe firing and software to link the weapon to onboard sensors.

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