MOD Invests £36 Million In New Army Air Defence Missile
(Source: UK Ministry of Defence; issued May 1, 2014)
MBDA has derived a ground-launched, truck-based variant of its Sea Ceptor air-defense system that the MoD will assess, at its own cost, as a potential successor for Rapier. (MBDA photo)
The army is a step closer to receiving a new multi-million-pound air defence missile system thanks to an investment by MOD. Missile company MBDA UK has been awarded a £36 million contract to explore what capabilities a land version of an air defence system could offer the UK armed forces.

The Future Local Area Air Defence System (FLAADS) is a ground-based missile system whose missiles can travel at 1,000 metres per second and is able to simultaneously defend UK territories against a number of threats, including jets or cruise missiles travelling at supersonic speeds.

MBDA UK is already developing a similar system, known as Sea Ceptor, that will be used by the Royal Navy.

This assessment phase contract for the land version will sustain more than 90 highly-skilled jobs at MBDA’s sites in Stevenage and Bristol.

Minister for Defence Equipment, Support and Technology Philip Dunne said:

“The future local area air defence system would give the army a new, British-built, world-leading defence capability to protect UK interests against current and future threats from the air. These missiles are designed to form a suite of battle-winning capabilities we are investing in.

“This potential land system is the next stage development of a maritime system which highlights that the UK is a world leader in evolution of missile design and manufacturing.

MBDA UK Managing Director and Executive Group Director Technical Steve Wadey said:

“The FLAADS land assessment phase is an important milestone that demonstrates how the MOD-MBDA portfolio management agreement works. It’s the opportunity to provide an affordable yet highly capable air defence system for both the army and Royal Navy.

“By extending the FLAADS programme to land applications, the UK MOD is showing confidence in MBDA’s ability to maximise cost benefits for its customers through modularity and reuse of existing technologies.

The army’s current air defence system, Rapier, which was used to defend London during the 2012 Olympic Games, has been in service since 1996 and is coming to the end of its service life.

Over the next year, MBDA UK will use state-of-the-art computer technology to assess exactly how the missile system would work and could be used by the army.

Following the assessment phase, a decision on whether to buy FLAADS as a replacement for Rapier is expected to be made next year. (ends)

MBDA’s Advanced Air Defence System for the British Army Enters Assessment Phase
(Source: MBDA; issued May 1? 2014)
A £36M contract from the UK Ministry of Defence (MOD) has been placed with MBDA for the Land variant of the Future Local Area Air Defence System (FLAADS Land). This will fund an Assessment Phase that will demonstrate the adaptation and evolution of core weapon system subsystems (e.g. command & control) for the land environment, and prepare for the transition from Rapier Field Standard C (FSC) in British Army service. The FLAADS Land System will provide the British Army with a world leading Ground Based Air Defence (GBAD) system that will be one of the most advanced and capable in its class, providing operational, logistical and cost benefits.

At the heart of the FLAADS Land System is MBDA’s Common Anti-air Modular Missile (CAMM) and its weapon command and control system, contracted for installation onto the Royal Navy’s (RN) Type 23 Frigates as Sea Ceptor. This approach leverages the existing investment to deliver the UK MOD with an affordable but highly capable air defence system for both the Army and Royal Navy, with a shared support and future upgrade path across both services.

The opportunity to exploit a CAMM-based air defence system on land and sea also provides potential international customers with the opportunity to share in the benefits that the UK is reaping from the multi-service adoption of the missile.

MBDA is delivering the FLAADS Land programme under the Portfolio Management Agreement (PMA). The PMA provides the UK Armed Forces with Freedom of Action and Operational Advantage thereby allowing them to maintain an edge over adversaries now and in the future. The PMA also ensures the skills and technologies critical for this are maintained in the UK.

Antoine Bouvier, Chief Executive Officer of MBDA, welcomed the news saying, “This new contract further demonstrates the value of the partnership strategy that MBDA is advancing with its domestic customers. By extending the FLAADS programme to land applications, the British MOD is showing that MBDA continues to be its Complex Weapons company of choice and recognises its ingenuity in maximizing cost benefits through modularity and the re-use of existing technologies.

“Made possible through the PMA framework established with the British MOD, CAMM-based missile systems offer advantages in terms of capability and through-life costs which I’m sure will interest many armies and navies around the world”.


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