In 2016, for the fourth consecutive year, MBDA's orders significantly exceeded sales in value terms as new orders rose to €4.7 billion against sales of €3.0 billion. The value of the order book jumped again to €15.9 billion at 31 December 2016, giving an excellent outlook for the next five years.
Domestic orders, at the remarkably high level of €3.2 billion, are helping to significantly expand MBDA's portfolio of products.
The UK has contracted the development phase of the SPEAR missile that will give the F-35 a unique multi-purpose stand-off precision strike capability.
The UK's family of ASRAAM/CAMM anti-air missiles also won contracts to be integrated onto the F-35 Lightning II fighter and Type 26 frigate.
In France and Italy, the Aster family will take a great leap forward in quality of performance against new types of manoeuvrable ballistic missiles.
The Franco-British deep-strike SCALP/Storm Shadow programme, which has been in service since 2003, will be updated by 2020.
Finally, France has announced the mid-life update of ASMPA to ensure that this air-launched missile of its deterrent remains reliable, available and high-performance.
Export orders (€1.5 billion) include the equipment and missiles for the 36 Rafales bought by India in September but not the major contracts for MCDS coastal defence systems and for arming Fincantieri's combat ships for Qatar, which were signed in 2016 and will be recorded in this year's accounts.
In order to sustain this robust growth potential, 2017 will see an increase in recruitment by MBDA. Recruitment began to rise in 2013, with around 600 new hirings a year between 2013 and 2015, increasing to 1,000 in 2016. We expect this to rise further in 2017 and plan to take on 1,100 new staff this year across all our home countries.
In our home markets, last year was marked by greater Franco-British co-operation following the ratification of an intergovernmental agreement that will facilitate internal company exchanges between the two countries and allow MBDA to optimise its industrial organisation. The agreement is considered a world first for sovereign industries.
In response to the call, in Germany’s 2016 white paper on security and the future of the German military, for deeper co-operation in European programmes and a stronger European Defence and Technological and Industrial Base (EDTIB), MBDA’s Executive Committee made a decision, effective 1 January 2017, to bring MBDA Deutschland into the integrated perimeter of the Group.
The resulting reorganisation of work will tighten collaboration between teams to the benefit of MBDA Deutschland and the rest of the Group. In the framework of national regulations for defence and security, the strength of the entire Group can now be enlisted to deal with technical challenges presented by the TLVS programme that will give the German armed forces enhanced defence capabilities.
In the field of exports, MBDA is continuing to expand into its main client countries and has signed agreements with Polish, Indian and UAE industries. These will allow us to push down our roots into these countries and absorb them into our industrial base.
"2016 has been a pivotal year", said Antoine Bouvier, MBDA's CEO. "Today's successes will build the MBDA of tomorrow - a company with a rejuvenated workforce, an industry that is more flexibly organised across Europe and prospects that are buoyed up by our fattest order books ever. This is a company that is creating ever tighter links with its export countries and with the allies of our home countries. It is an MBDA that is increasing critical mass year on year to ensure our European clients have the continued access they require to sovereign technologies that provide military superiority."
With a significant presence in five European countries (France, United-Kingdom, Italy, Germany, Spain) and within the USA, in 2016 MBDA achieved a turnover of 3.0 billion euros with an order book of 15.9 billion euros. MBDA is jointly held by Airbus Group (37.5%), BAE Systems (37.5%), and Leonardo (25%).