Seven allied Nato nations have signed a Letter of Intent (LoI) for multinational cooperation on the acquisition of new Maritime Battle Decisive Munitions (MBDM).

The countries taking part in the initiative are Belgium, France, Italy, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal and Spain.

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"It is an important first step on the road towards creating European stockpiles of high-quality maritime munitions to meet our evolving needs."

The agreement for the joint acquisition of the maritime munitions was signed during the Nato Summit held in Brussels, Belgium, and is expected to help reduce procurement costs by attaining economies of scale.

It also includes scope for the potential development of common warehousing solutions, which could help to further lower the cost of MBDM.

The purchase plan covers a wide range of munition types, including surface-to-air and surface-to-surface missiles, torpedoes and gun shells.

Nato Defence Investment assistant secretary general Camille Grand said: “It is an important first step on the road towards creating European stockpiles of high-quality maritime munitions to meet our evolving needs.

“Over time, it will increase our interoperability, our ability to share our munitions and to work smoothly and effectively together, whatever the circumstances.”

The first of the planned joint MBDM acquisitions are expected to be carried out in the near future.

The latest initiative follows similar plans made by allied Nato states and partners within the air and land forces.

In addition, the defence ministers of 16 Nato allies also signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia during the Nato Summit, which related to multinational cooperation regarding the purchase of Land Battle Decisive Munitions (LBDM).

The defence ministers of Austria and Finland are also expected to sign the agreement after the completion of the Nato Summit.