21 July 2022, Farnborough International Airshow – Rolls-Royce and Safran Power Units have jointly signed an Assessment Phase contract with MBDA, as part of the Franco-British Future Cruise / Anti-Ship Weapon (FC/ASW) programme. Both partners will work collaboratively to mature a new propulsion solution for a subsonic, low observable missile expected to be fielded before the end of the decade.
Signed at Farnborough International Airshow, the agreement now means that Rolls-Royce and Safran Power Units will work alongside MBDA to meet the propulsion requirements for the UK and French Governments, with the intent to provide a game changing capability to overcome hardened targets and air defence systems in increasingly contested battlespace environment.
Earlier the UK Ministry of Defence and the French Armament General Directorate (Direction Générale de l’Armement -DGA) signed a bilateral agreement for the FC/ASW programme that will see the joint development of a next generation of deep strike and heavy anti-ship missiles.
Éric Béranger, MBDA CEO, said: “FC/ASW is a strategic programme for the UK and France and we are very pleased to welcome Rolls-Royce and Safran Power Units into the team. Their joint expertise will prove fundamental to the success of the subsonic FC/ASW concept, further strengthening the benefits of UK/French co-operation on this programme”.
Alex Zino, EVP Business Development and Future Programmes for Rolls-Royce Defence said: “Combining the strengths of industry from across the UK and France underlines the significance of this programme. With this collaboration, both companies will be able to demonstrate the strong alignment between the UK and French industry and can effectively work together to provide the power to protect our armed forces and our societies”.
Ghislaine Doukhan, CEO Safran Power Units said: “We are proud to join the FC/ASW programme which further reinforces the strategic collaboration in this domain between the UK and France which began in the early 90s with the successful development of the SCALP-EG/Storm Shadow cruise missile engine. Safran Power Units brings to the team more than 60 years experience in the development and manufacturing of advanced propulsion systems for missiles such as MBDA Scalp, Exocet and MdCN (missile de croisière naval- naval cruise missile)”.
Rolls-Royce has a long history of working alongside French industry, including work alongside Safran, the Adour co-operation started in 1965 being the longest-running aerospace collaboration.
Image courtesy MBDA