French company MBDA is bidding for two demilitarisation contracts to deactivate a combined total of 49,000 MLRS rockets from UK and French armouries.

Both countries have committed to disposing of their MLRS stockpiles, with the UK pledging to destock 27,000 rockets, and France planning to demilitarise around 22,000 rockets.

In response to a UK request for proposal and a French request for information, the MBDA has announced it will offer a highly cost-effective solution that is fully compliant with the wide range of safety, security and environmental issues involved.

To carry out the demilitarisation process, which involves detonation of munitions in the open air, the MBDA will use the latest equipment including robotic handling devices.

In addition, the process includes a special furnace capable of burning the propergol and MLRS rocket explosives at a very high temperature.

MBDA will carry out a number of filtration stages in which recycling forms a major part, retaining 97% of the inert material in each MLRS rocket for reuse.

The 4m-long, 300kg Lockheed-built MLRS contains a warhead with 644 M77 submunitions with anti-tank and anti-personnel properties and a solid ammonium perchlorate rocket motor that can be fired to a range of around 40km.

The Nato Maintenance and Supply Agency has issued an RFP representing the British Army, while DCMAT represents the French Army for the task.