MBDA Australia has entered a new contract with composite company Airspeed to explore alternative production options for its MMP anti-tank guided missile launch tube.

Under the deal, Airspeed will use its advanced aerospace composite material manufacturing techniques to assess the options.

MBDA Australia managing director Andy Watson said: “MBDA is offering its MMP missile as part of the $20bn Land 400 project. It is the only fifth generation anti-tank guided weapon (ATGW) that is in production and in service today and represents the cutting edge of technology, design and performance.

“Our aim is for MMP to become the first missile that is built, maintained and evolved in Australia.”

“It is only natural for MBDA to work with Airspeed to develop similarly cutting-edge production techniques that could create more efficient and cost-effective manufacturing methods.

Watson added: “As we have said for some time now, our aim is for MMP to become the first missile that is built, maintained and evolved in Australia and I see this contract as a major step in delivering that vision.”

With a 1.3m-long in-tactical canister, MBDA’s MMP is a lightweight weapon system that is easily transportable. It features reconnaissance and identification capability in both day and night, as well as under adverse weather conditions.

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According to Watson, the approach of MBDA to the Australian industrial capability is based on ensuring that the Federal Government has the ‘highest level of independent capability in its use of the missile’ and providing ‘real opportunities’ for Australian industry.