by Nathan Gain and Christina Mackenzie
In order to cope with the increase in business induced by its thick order book totalling €15.1bn, up 20% on 2014, European missile manufacturer MBDA will be recruiting a thousand people in 2016, principally in France and Great Britain.
Presenting the group’s annual results this morning, 17 March, CEO Antoine Bouvier said the intake of orders in 2015 was up 27% on the 2014 figure reaching a record of €5.2bn, of which €3.6bn was from new export orders, thanks mainly to the FREMM frigates and Rafale fighter aircraft contracts signed with Egypt and Qatar. Forecasting a slight stall in orders this year, Bouvier is still aiming for turnover above €3bn in 2016, up from the €2.9bn achieved in 2015.
Very present in the air and naval fields, MBDA was also nevertheless active in the land combat segment in 2015. The group returned to discussions with Turkey on possible cooperation for anti-air defence. After cancelling a €3.4bn contract with China, Ankara is now considering an industrial partnership to finish on-going programmes and to develop new products, Bouvier explained.
2016 will also be a year of progress for the MMP (Missile de Moyenne Portée or Mid-range missile) due to replace the Milan anti-tank missiles. After the first successful development firings in 2015, MBDA and the STAT (see our articles of 7 and 9 March on the French Army technology section) will start the qualification tests for the system in the upcoming weeks with deliveries scheduled for 2017 to meet the French Army’s expectations.