MOD signs £146 million contract to upgrade RAF’s long-range missile
Minister for Defence Procurement Harriett Baldwin has today announced a £146 million contract with MBDA to regenerate an air-launched missile, alongside her French counterpart Laurent Collet-Billon.
The shared deal with MDBA will see the UK’s Storm Shadow and France’s SCALP missiles updated so they remain fit for purpose and ready for operational use.
During an inward visit by Laurent Collet-Billon, the Minister confirmed the strong partnership with France in a series of meetings at Lancaster House. The collaboration is providing a £50 million saving for both sides.
The contract will keep the missile in service for the next decade and beyond and help to sustain around 60 UK jobs. Storm Shadow is a combat-proven, long-range, precision cruise missile, already in service with RAF Tornados, deployed recently against Daesh in Iraq.
Minister for Defence Procurement, Harriett Baldwin said:
Storm Shadow is a proven and vital missile for the RAF, and this £146 million upgrade will ensure it is always ready for whenever our Armed Forces might need it to defend our way of life.
This contract is an important part of the Government’s £178 billion plan to ensure our armed forces have the right equipment at the right time.
The midlife refurbishment programme has been developed in co-operation with the French Government who will be updating their own similar missile known as SCALP.
By taking advantage of the similarities, this collaboration not only reaffirms the strong defence relationship as outlined under the Lancaster House Agreement, but has also resulted in a £50 million saving for both the UK and France.
The regeneration will consist of a midlife refurbishment of current missile parts such as the turbo-jet engine, an upgrade of the navigational system, and a like for like replacement of items such as the cabling, seals and gaskets.
The work will sustain around 60 jobs at MBDA in Stevenage and Bolton, in a variety of roles including software and systems engineering. Over 40 jobs will also be sustained through the supply chain.
Chief Executive at the MOD’s Defence Equipment and Support Organisation, Tony Douglas said:
The contract to regenerate Storm Shadow, a combat-proven, all-weather precision missile, provides a clear example of the MOD and UK industry working effectively together with our counter parts in France; providing our UK Armed Forces with the best equipment possible while sustaining dozens of UK jobs.
Storm Shadow is designed to target substantial buildings and structures, such as military facilities, control centres, bunkers, missile sites, airfields and bridges, which might otherwise require the use of several aircraft over the course of numerous missions.
France is the UK’s most important European Ally, with both countries’ defence budgets together account for almost half of all European defence spending. This deal is the most recent example of collaboration in a long history of cooperation on defence and security. The £146 million investment in Storm Shadow will sustain the missile until its planned out of service date in 2032.
Laurent Collet-Billon, Délégué Général pour l’Armement said:
This deep-strike missile mid-life update was jointly prepared. It represents a new step in the Franco-British cooperation roadmap and strengthens the Franco-British strategic partnership in the armament field.