UK, France sign deal to jointly develop new missiles

Updated: 00:00 GMT, Jan 1, 1970 | Published: 10:55 GMT, Mar 31, 2017 |

Britain and France have signed an agreement to jointly develop long range missiles for future use by their navies and air forces.

British Minister for military purchases Harriett Baldwin and her visiting French counterpart Laurent Collet-Billon agreed in London on Tuesday to invest €50 million (£43 million) each to begin a three-year concept phase for the project.

Dubbed the Future Cruise/Anti-Ship Weapon program, arms manufacturer MBDA would explore options to replace and improve existing naval and air force weapons systems over the next 10 years, according to a statement by the UK ministry of defense.

The concept phase is focused on determining the designs of the future weapons and cutting the risks to a minimum before heading to the next stage in the cooperation, the statement added.

Beside costs, both sides also agreed to freely use one another’s “national technology expertise, trials and test facilities.”

“As demonstrated by having Europe’s largest defense budget, the UK is committed to European security and we will continue to collaborate on joint defense programs across the continent,” Baldwin said.