A £36M (USD 60.6M) contract from the UK Ministry of Defence (MOD) has been placed with MBDA for the Land variant of the Future Local Area Air Defence System (FLAADSLand).
This will fund an Assessment Phase that will demonstrate the adaptation and evolution of core weapon system subsystems (e.g. command & control) for the land environment, and prepare for the transition from Rapier Field Standard C (FSC) in British Army service. TheFLAADSLandsystem will provide the British Army with a world leading Ground Based Air Defence (GBAD) system that will be one of the most advanced and capable in its class, providing operational, logistical and cost benefits.
At the heart of the FLAADSLandsystem is MBDA’s Common Anti-air Modular Missile (CAMM) and its weapon command and control system, contracted for installation onto the Royal Navy’s (RN) Type 23 Frigates as Sea Ceptor. This approach leverages the existing investment to deliver the UK MOD with an affordable but highly capable air defence system for both the Army and Royal Navy, with a shared support and future upgrade path across both services.
The opportunity to exploit a CAMM-based air defence system on land and sea also provides potential international customers with the opportunity to share in the benefits that the UK is reaping from the multi-service adoption of the missile.
MBDA is delivering the FLAADSLandprogramme under the Portfolio Management Agreement (PMA). The PMA provides the UK Armed Forces with Freedom of Action and Operational Advantage thereby allowing them to maintain an edge over adversaries now and in the future. The PMA also ensures the skills and technologies critical for this are maintained in theUK.
Antoine Bouvier, Chief Executive Officer of MBDA, welcomed the news saying, “This new contract further demonstrates the value of the partnership strategy that MBDA is advancing with its domestic customers. By extending the FLAADS programme to land applications, the British MOD is showing that MBDA continues to be its Complex Weapons company of choice and recognises its ingenuity in maximizing cost benefits through modularity and the re-use of existing technologies. Made possible through the PMA framework established with the British MOD, CAMM-based missile systems offer advantages in terms of capability and through-life costs which I’m sure will interest many armies and navies around the world”.
Press Release, May 2, 2014; Image: UK MoD