France and UK form missile technology development partnership

20 November 2016 (Last Updated November 20th, 2016 18:30)

France and the UK have formed a partnership for missile technology development, under the Cross-Channel Centres of Excellence Strategy.

France and the UK have formed a partnership for missile technology development, under the Cross-Channel Centres of Excellence Strategy.

Franco-British defence company MBDA has been selected to develop missile technology in the UK and France.

The partnership includes the establishment of specialised centres of excellence for missile technology in MBDA's sites in Stevenage and Bolton, UK.

UK Defence Secretary Sir Michael Fallon said: “To keep Britain strong, it’s vital we develop mutual security through innovation and co-operation.

"By securing a rising defence budget, working with allies and investing in centres of excellence, we can keep Britain at the cutting-edge of technology.

"This Franco-British defence co-operation ensures high-skilled jobs through innovation and will help keep Britain safer and more secure."

“This Franco-British defence co-operation ensures high-skilled jobs through innovation and will help keep Britain safer and more secure.”

The new centres are expected to support 400 skilled jobs at MBDA’s UK sites.

UK Minister for Defence Procurement Harriett Baldwin added: “The UK and France are the biggest European investors in equipment, and defence projects such as these centres of excellence will ensure we work effectively and innovatively with industry to secure the very best deal for the tax payer.

“The UK is investing £178bn so that our armed forces have the equipment they need to keep Britain safe.”

The UK and France have committed to extending traditional interstate cooperation, by increasing the countries' military capabilities and competitiveness in exports.

Both countries recently launched the next phase of the £117m joint Franco-British Maritime Mine Counter Measures (MMCM) programme, in order to develop maritime mine warfare capabilities.