MBDA Italy has signed a contract, worth more than €1bn, to provide missiles to the Qatar Emiri Naval Forces (QENF).

Under the contract, MBDA will supply Exocet MM40 Block 3 anti-ship missiles, Aster 30 Block 1, and VL (vertical launch) MICA air defence missiles to the QENF.

The missiles will be deployed on the QENF’s new naval vessels, which are being built by Italian shipyard Fincantieri.

"This contract represents a further confirmation of the significant role that MBDA plays in the missile sector."

The signing of the contract follows the letter of award that was signed in Rome and is within the framework of a government-to-government agreement between Italian and Qatar defence ministries.

MBDA sales and business development executive group director and MBDA Italy managing director Antonio Perfetti said: "This contract represents a further confirmation of the significant role that MBDA plays in the missile sector, not only in Europe, but also worldwide.

"It is proof of MBDA’s capability, thanks to its very comprehensive portfolio of world class solutions, of being able to address the most stringent and diverse of customer missile systems requirements.

"The contract consolidates MBDA’s highly valued partnership with Qatar and is further proof also of the value of the solutions offered by the company to meet its customers’ requirements."

Last week, Fincantieri signed a €4bn contract with the Qatari Ministry of Defence to construct seven new-generation surface vessels for the QENF.

MBDA’s Exocet MM40 Block 3 is an advanced anti-ship missile that offers a multi-target capability against mobile targets at a long range.

The Aster 30 missile is a land-based air defence system that is designed to combat high-speed threats, such as tactical ballistic missiles, cruise missiles, combat aircraft and unmanned combat air vehicles (UCAV).

MBDA’s VL MICA is a vertical launch ground-based short-range air defence system which uses MICA fire-and-forget missile.

Image: Officials during the signing of the missile contract. Photo: courtesy of MBDA.