The UK has entered an agreement with France to develop a new generation of missiles.

The deal will allow the countries to share certain MBDA-developed technologies in future missile development.

Technologies used in Sea Venom, a helicopter-launched anti-ship weapon, will be part of those shared under the agreement.

The technologies will also be used in future national and joint programmes to meet British and French military requirements.

"Sharing knowledge and information more deeply will help us develop better weapons more efficiently."

Legal assurance will be provided to both governments on various issues, including national data protection and security.

UK Defence Secretary Michael Fallon said: "Our defence relationship with France continues to thrive. The joint development of next-generation missiles is just the latest example of this.

"Sharing knowledge and information more deeply will help us develop better weapons more efficiently and keep both of our countries safe."

Both countries will work with MBDA to create centres of excellence, consolidating their specialist design and engineering skills.

Four centres will be established for weapon controllers and test equipment in France, and for datalinks and actuators in the UK.

Another four centres will then be established for complex warheads, guidance and navigation systems, algorithms, and software.

The Lancaster House agreement was signed in 2010 to enhance relations and defence cooperation between France and the UK.

Last February, both countries signed agreements to advance security through joint investment in defence equipment procurement, and joint training of armed forces.

Image: UK Defence Secretary Michael Fallon and French Defence Minister Monsieur Le Drian. Photo: courtesy of Crown Copyright.