Manufacturer is looking for additional $4 billion of business in 2002 through deals on Meteor an UK anti-tank missiles

MBDA Missile Systems is hoping to boost its order book with $4 billion worth of additional business this year. The company plans to strengthen its presence in Europe by linking with German missile builder BGT and broadening co-operation with Boeing.

The company, formed from the merger of Matra BAe Dynamics and the missile division of Alenia Marconi Systems (AMS), had a projected order backlog of $13 billion at the end of 2001. MBDA is hoping to increase its order book to $15 billion this year, mainly with the expected $1.5 billion Meteor missile development contract and UK decisions on two army anti-tank weapon needs, for which it is offering the Lockheed Martin Kestrel Predator and Rafael NT-S Spike. It also plans to increase turnover from the current $2 billion to $3 billion by 2005.

MBDA chief operating officer Alan Garwood says the company would like to restart talks with BGT this year, while at the same time increasing its stake in its German affiliate LFK from 30% to 100%. EADS owns the remaining 70% of LFK, along with 10% of MBDA's new Spanish missile partnership with Indra. MBDA plans to make LFK its fourth European operating company.

Discussions over BGT collapsed last year over a series of personal differences between the senior management of the company's owner Diehl and the German side of EADS. The next step could be a missile joint venture between LFK and BGT. "BGT is very successful and we've a lot to gain from their capabilities," says Garwood. While the BGT-led IRIS-T missile is a competitor to MBDA's ASRAAM air-to-air missile, its Armiger programme could be combined with Meteor to form a new anti-radiation missile to replace MBDA's Alarm and Raytheon's AGM-88 HARM (Flight International, 28 August - 3 September 2001).


Meteor is one of a series of planned collaborative efforts with Boeing, which is interested in promoting the missile to the US Navy. The US Navy has also issued a request for information to replace its Kongsberg Penguin helicopter-launched anti-ship missile. MBDA is expected to respond, and this could be the starting point for a joint UK/US replacement for the BAE Sea Skua anti-ship missile.

MBDA may also ally with Boeing to compete for the UK/US Common Missile anti-tank weapon programme, and will offer the RAF an extended-range Joint Direct Attack Munition equipped with the AMS Diamond Back wing kit as well as a similarly equipped Small Diameter Bomb.




Source: Flight International