MBDA today inaugurated a new permanent office in Athens, strengthening the company’s presence in Greece and demonstrating its commitment to supporting the Hellenic Armed Forces. Greece was MBDA’s first customer for the Exocet missile in 1968, and the company has worked with the country for over 50 years. Greece has recently reaffirmed this long-standing relationship with contracts for weapon packages for the Rafale fighter aircraft and its Defence and Intervention Frigates of the Hellenic Navy (FDI HN). MBDA’s new office in Athens will be a springboard for even closer co-operation. Developing the local participation of Greek national companies and institutions in the delivery of MBDA’s contracts in Greece and their follow-on phases.
Eric Béranger, CEO of MBDA, said, “The inauguration of our Athens office is a cornerstone in our special relationship with Greece. We are proud to have supported the Hellenic Armed Forces for over 50 years and to have contributed to a strategic and close partnership between Greece and France, based on strong mutual trust. Through this permanent presence of MBDA in Athens, we intend to increase our local investments in Greece and to partner with Greek institutions to continue to deliver key sovereign capabilities that provide the best solutions to meet the requirements of the Hellenic Armed Forces customer.”
A first contract was signed in 2021 for the supply of a Rafale weapon systems package for 18 aircraft, with a second weapon package signed in 2022 for a further six Rafale. The new aircraft’s weapons will benefit from the strong commonality with those from the Mirage 2000s and Mirage 2000-5s currently in service in the Hellenic Air Force. Like these, the Rafales will be armed with SCALP cruise missiles, AM39 Exocet anti-ship missiles and MICA multi-mission air-to-air missiles. Additionally, MBDA will also supply Meteor beyond visual range air-to-air missiles. On the same day in 2022, a third contract was signed for a state-of-the-art weapon package from MBDA to equip three new Defence and Intervention Frigates (FDI HN).
MBDA is a European multinational developer and manufacturer of missiles. It was created in December 2001 after the merger of the main French, British and Italian missile systems companies; Matra, BAe Dynamics and Alenia. These were previously the missile subsidiaries of Aérospatiale-Matra (merged into EADS, now called Airbus), BAE Systems and Finmeccanica (now Leonardo). The company’s headquarters are located in Le Plessis-Robinson, France. Despite being a European joint venture, MBDA has maintained national divisions since its creation: MBDA France, MBDA UK and MBDA Italy. They were formed by simply grouping in their respective countries the assets and activities of the various French, British and Italian businesses that had merged to create MBDA.