MBDA inaugurated its new permanent office in Brussels on 9 November, strengthening its multinational presence close to the institutions of the European Union (EU) and NATO to better support their initiatives towards more European defence co-operation. The EU is making swift progress on enacting its ambitions for European Defence across its institutions. MBDA is at the heart of this effort, leading on two missile system centric-projects developed under the Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO) framework – BLOS (Beyond Line Of Sight) and TWISTER (Timely Warning and Interception with Space-based TheatER surveillance). MBDA is also an active participant in a number of Preparatory Action on Defence Research (PADR) and European Defence Industrial Development Programme (EDIDP) initiatives, precursor programmes to the European Defence Fund (EDF), now into force, which will accelerate the collaborative development of new capability priorities and supplement national funding on topics with a high European addedvalue.
NATO’s new 2030 strategic roadmap will strengthen its role as the central platform for transatlantic defence consultations. NATO demands are high in capability and interoperability terms. The set-up of collaborative frameworks, such as Modular Ground Based Air Defence (GBAD), will help shaping common requirements to satisfy operational needs and the perspective of new budgetary instruments focused on cutting-edge and disruptive technologies (NATO Innovation Fund and DIANA) are promising opportunities for an innovation-driven company like MBDA. Didier Gondallier de Tugny is the Head of the MBDA Brussels Office for the Group.
Eric Béranger, CEO of MBDA, said: “MBDA fully supports the objectives of the EU and NATO to deepen their initiatives towards defence co-operation between participating countries. MBDA is a unique and successful model of a European integrated defence company. With more than 12,000 people working together across France, the UK, Germany, Italy and Spain, our large European footprint gives us the critical mass to compete on the global market. Over the last 20 years, MBDA has built a strong track record of international co-operations and through this new office, we are looking forward to contributing our experience to the collective success of the European defence
agenda in both its EU and NATO dimensions. Key to this are co-operation programmes, which are the ‘engine’ for the creation and consolidation within the European defence ecosystem of globally successful champions such as MBDA.”
The European Commission selected LynkEUs, an MBDA European Defence Industrial Development Programme (EDIDP) co-ordinated project, in June 2020. LynkEUs is the first technological and industrial contribution to the objectives of the PESCO BLOS capability project (approved in November 2018). Associating 16 partners and sub-contractors from Belgium, Cyprus, Estonia, France and Sweden, the LynkEUs project seeks to define an initial operational concept for a European BLOS capability. It will also provide an opportunity to identify and test emerging solutions of potential value for future upgrades to the capability. The concepts and tests completed for the PESCO BLOS project will contribute to the development of a family of man-on-the loop BLOS missile systems with back image, based on the MMP missile system, and under the full control of Europe’s defence industry. Further enhancements of this capability and the development of new functionalities, such as collaborative engagement and training systems, are fully eligible to an EDF support.
This PESCO capability project was endorsed in November 2019. A European missile defence project that already includes six participating member states (France, Germany, Italy, Spain, the Netherlands and Finland), it seeks in particular to develop, with support from the EDF, a European disruptive endo-atmospheric interceptor to address emerging and complex air threats (hypersonic cruise missiles, hypersonic glide vehicles, manoeuvring ballistic missiles) in decades to come. MBDA also participates actively in the preparatory actions of the European Defence Fund (EDF). MBDA is part of the following selected PADR projects: TALOS (laser DEW), OCEAN 2020 (maritime awareness), SALOMON (technological independence), EXCEED (FPGA), OPTIMISE (PNT) and INTERACT (UxV interoperability). MBDA is also part of the following selected EDIDP projects: LynkEUs, FITS4TOP (fast-jet training), FIRES (artillery), ODIN’S EYE (space-based early warning), JEY-CUAS (CUAS), CARMENTA (self-protection systems) and AI4DEF (AI).