After six years of talks, MBDA’s industrial rationalisation project is now finalised, French Defence Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian and his British counterpart Michael Fallon said during the 6th Defence Conference organised by the Franco-British Council on 16 and 17 November 2016.
This announcement “opens the path to a real mutual dependency in a highly strategic sector and to industrial rationalisation between the two countries,” the French defence minister said. Fallon for his part stressed that the OneMBDA project will support 400 skilled jobs at MBDA’s UK sites in Stevenage and Bolton.
OneMBDA aims to optimise investments by improving synergies and cutting some 30% from development costs by specialising MBDA’s sites along Centres of Excellence as we explained in our article on 6 October.
Thanks to this agreement, MBDA, which has an annual turnover of €3bn and holds almost 25% of the global missile market (Russia and China excepted), can now concentrate more resources on the non-European market and consolidate its number two world ranking behind US company Raytheon.
It should be noted however, that even if OneMBDA is an example of pooling resources, it only involves two of MBDA’s four partner nations. The European missile house will not only have to manage a two-level structure composed of this Franco-British core and an Italian-German “outer circle” but will also have to cope with the different sensitivities of the two governments concerned.