The two companies said they were proud to announce their global strategic partnership, which would play a key role in response to the Commonwealth of Australia’s Defence Industry Policy Statement to support the development of Australian sovereign industrial and strategic capability.
The Army is seeking to acquire a new precision anti-tank guided weapon (ATGW) to fit to the Combat Reconnaissance Vehicle that will be selected under project Land 400 Phase 2.
That will give these vehicles a capability to destroy enemy armoured vehicles including main battle tanks, personnel and defensive positions.
MBDA Missile Systems is pitching its new MMP (Missile Moyenne Portee), which it says is the only fifth-generation ATGW that is fully qualified, in production and sooner entering service with the French Army.
For the Australian Defence Force, ATGW on a vehicle is an entirely new capability.
The other contender is Israeli firm Rafael with its Spike LR2, a development of its widely used Spike ATGW.
MBDA said the new agreement will take advantage of the capabilities of Safran Electronics and Defense Australasia, a Safran subsidiary that has been operational in Australia for 20 years, delivering and supporting optronics and navigation equipment.
Safran is a strategic partner of MBDA for a number of programs, including the MMP. They are responsible for optronics elements, including the dismounted firing posts, sensors and missile seekers.
MBDA says MMP is the only fifth-generation multi-purpose guided missile system currently ordered by a major NATO member.
MMP has been ordered by France for its infantry and combat reconnaissance vehicles.
It will be fitted onto the French army’s new Jaguar combat vehicles along with Safran’s PASEO advanced sighting systems.
Qualification of MMP was completed in July 2017 and deliveries to the French Army have now started.