Signing of a letter of intent between France, the United Kingdom and Italy on the future anti-ship and cruise missile program

Paris, June 24, 2023 – Currently in a risk-reduction phase, the Franco-British Future Cruise / Anti-Ship Weapon (FC/ASW) programme aims to develop a new generation of missiles to renew both nations long-range anti-ship warfare and deep strike capabilities.

By jointly signing a letter of intent concerning the FC/ASW program on Tuesday June 20, 2023, the United Kingdom, Italy and France confirmed their desire to extend Franco-British cooperation to the Italian partner.

The phase of dialogue that will now be able to open between the three countries will lay the foundations for the development phase to come. The objective for each of the three countries is to have an operational deep strike capability by 2030. This new phase of the FC/ASW programme will strengthen the European defense industrial and technological base around MBDA, the industrial European leader in the field of missiles.

The Franco-British FC/ASW programme aims to replace the SCALP/Storm Shadow air-launched cruise missile, in service with French and British air forces, as well as air- and surface-launched heavy anti-ship missiles, the Exocet in France and the Harpoon in the UK.

It was born from the common needs of France and the United Kingdom to have a long-range anti-ship capability for use on the high seas and a capability to engage hardened targets in the depth of the enemy system.

The programme is entrusted to MBDA, which matures technologies and systems aimed at improving the survivability, range and lethality of anti-ship and cruise missiles fired from aircraft and combat ships.

The concept phase, worth around 100 million Euros, is funded equally by France and the United Kingdom; workload is also shared equally between MBDA France and MBDA UK.

Source French Ministry of the Armed Forces

Image courtesy MBDA