MBDA welcomes the Italian Government’s intent to join France and the UK in the Future Cruise / Anti-Ship Weapon (FC/ASW) programme. A Letter of Intent (LOI) that enables the launch of the key preparatory work for Italy to join the programme was signed by the representatives of the three National Armament directions: Lieutenant General Luciano Portolano, Secretary General of Defence and National Armaments Director for Italy, Andy Start, UK National Armament Director and CEO of DE&S, and Emmanuel Chiva Chief executive of the Direction générale de l’armement, last week, during the Paris Air Show.

Participation in the FC/ASW programme will provide all three nations with a sovereign next generation deep strike and heavy anti-ship capability to counter advanced threats. The programme will support the three countries’ strategic co-operation on missile technologies, through MBDA as an integrated European defence champion.

Eric Beranger, CEO of MBDA said, “We are delighted with Italy’s intent to join the FC/ASW programme. Befitting our role as a champion of European defence co-operation – sharing technologies, capabilities, and expertise among our countries –we are pleased that this LoI opens the door for our Italian expertise to also be brought to bear in delivering this truly strategic defence capability for Europe. FC/ASW will meet the operational needs of the Italian, British and French armed forces in the deep strike and anti-ship domains for the decades to come.”

The FC/ASW programme began as a product of the Anglo-French defence relationship set out by the Lancaster House treaties. Last year France’s Direction générale de l’armement (DGA) and the UK’s Defence Equipment & Support (DE&S) signed a government agreement and associated contracts that saw the launch of the preparation works/assessment phase for FC/ASW.

Complementary missile concepts are currently being assessed in order to meet the requirements of France, the UK and now Italy to provide game changing capabilities to overcome land-based and maritime threats, hardened targets and air defence systems, at very long ranges and in increasingly contested battlespace environments.

FC/ASW will augment MBDA’s portfolio of existing products that continue to evolve to adapt to new threats.

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