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July 22, 2022

Rolls-Royce and Safran join MBDA for Franco-British FC/ASW programme

The companies will work to mature a new propulsion solution for a subsonic, low observable missile.

Safran Power Units and Rolls-Royce have jointly signed a contract with MBDA for the assessment phase of the Franco-British future cruise/anti-ship weapon (FC/ASW) programme.

The agreement was signed by officials of the three companies at Farnborough International Airshow.

The collaboration will see Rolls-Royce and Safran work alongside MBDA to fulfil the needs of the French and British governments for a propulsion system.

The three companies will work together to further develop and refine a new propulsion solution for a subsonic and low observable missile. It is expected to be deployed before the end of 2030.

Once developed, the FC/ASW will replace the UK’s Harpoon and French Exocet anti-ship missiles, as well as Storm Shadow/SCALP air launched missile in service with both the UK and France.

MBDA CEO Éric Béranger said: “FC/ASW is a strategic programme for the UK and France, and we are very pleased to welcome Rolls-Royce and Safran Power Units into the team.

“Their joint expertise will prove fundamental to the success of subsonic FC/ASW concept, further strengthening benefits of UK/French co-operation on this programme.”

The FC/ASW programme involves joint development of a next generation of deep strike and heavy anti-ship missile.

In 2017, the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) and the French Armament General Directorate or Direction Générale de l’Armement (DGA) launched the concept phase of the programme for three years.

This €100m phase involved MBDA to mature systems and technologies to increase survivability, range and lethality of anti-ship and deep strike missiles.

Both the nations intend to acquire this capability to defeat hardened targets and air defence systems in highly contested battlespace.

Following the completion of concept phase, the UK MoD and DGA recently signed a bilateral agreement as the next step in the programme.

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