Spain is to link up with the European missile industry at Le Bourget this week with the announcement of a new joint venture. The Anglo-French-Italian missile grouping "MBDA in formation" is to take a 40% stake in the yet to be named company, which will lead Spanish participation in the Meteor beyond visual range missile project. "The joint venture is with three major Spanish industrial groups, Indria, EADS-CASA and the Izar naval ship building company," says Fabrice Bregier, chief executive of MBDA. "The announcement this week will demonstrate the attractiveness of MBDA for other partners."


"Our first project will be Meteor. Beyond this key programme we have a goal to develop missile technology in Spain with partners and also to involve Spanish industry in other European developments. Spain is one of the key countries in Europe in defence terms." Defence electronics group Indria will take a 40% stake in the new company, with Izar and EADS taking 10% each. Bergier is hopeful that the six defence ministers of the Eurofighter partners would sign a memorandum of understanding (MOU) at Le Bourget on Tuesday to take the Meteor project forward. "To my knowledge six nations fully support this project," he says. "It takes time to achieve an agreement with such number of companies on a big programme. No doubt Germany and five others will confirm their commitment eventually. We would welcome it."


Bergier predicts that full national regulatory approval for the link-up between the Anglo-French Matra-BAe Dynamics and the Anglo-Italian Alenia Marconi Systems missile arms as MBDA, would be given by the end of the summer or early autumn.

Source: Flight Daily News