Tim Ripley

Europe's long delayed programme, worth $1.6 billion, to build the next generation of surface-to-air missiles could get the go ahead this year, says Matra BAe Dynamics chief executive Frabrice Bregier.

The Principle Anti-Air Missile System (PAAMS) is intended to be the main weapon of the European Horizon frigate and could evolve into a ballistic missile defence system to rival the American Patriot.

PAAMS was given a major boost earlier this summer when MBD was appointed the prime contractor for the UK element of the Anglo-French-Italian programme.

"There is now a real willingness of three governments to speed up and launch PAAMs," says Bregier. "The three governments needed to make sure they were getting value for money.


"That was not the case previously because industrial games were too complex. Now we have a clear company, MBD is the a 'pilot in the aircraft'."

Bregier says the link-up between Aerospatiale and Lagardere "-makes PAAMS interfaces simpler - all the pieces are in our hands."

Source: Flight Daily News