EXCLUSIVE Britain and France have finally signed a weapons deal after a five year delay – just days after Russia chased a NATO submarine out of the Mediterranean.
Russia’s defence ministry says two of its navy destroyers chased the sub to stop it spying on an aircraft carrier.
Now Britain and France have finally ratified a defence, security, and nuclear cooperation deal which has been in the pipeline since November 2010.
The “One Complex Weapons” Sector Strategy treaty was presented to parliament earlier today on behalf of the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs by Command of Her Majesty.
The strategy lays out the objectives, funding, scope, security provision, definitions and objectives of how France and Britain will work together.
It will specifically legislate over a £100m contract to deliver a key defensive weapon for the Royal Navy’s new Type 26 Global Combat Ship.
The advanced Sea Ceptor air defence missile system, designed and built in the UK by MBDA, will be fitted to each of the new Type 26 ships.
Using innovations in radar and datalink technology that will guide these powerful missiles with pinpoint accuracy, Sea Ceptor will provide the Royal Navy with a shield against airborne threats such as the new generation of supersonic anti-ship missiles, fast jets, helicopters and unmanned aerial vehicles.
The new Demonstration and Manufacture phase contract will support additional design work and allow equipment to be manufactured to equip the entire Type 26 fleet.
The work will sustain around 85 jobs, including 55 at MBDA’s sites in Bristol, Stevenage and Lostock and 30 across the UK supply chain.
Companies on the supply chain include Babcock in Leicester, Churrock Engineering in Chelmsford, Quadrant in Todmorden, API in Milton Keynes, Meggitt in Stevenage and Aish in Poole.
MBDA is actively pursuing export opportunities for Sea Ceptor covered by the treaty which was presented to Parliament today.
The system has already been selected by the Royal New Zealand Navy for use on board their Anzac class frigates, with considerable potential for additional overseas orders in the future.Minister for Defence Procurement Harriett Baldwin said: “Sea Ceptor will ensure the Royal Navy’s Type 26 Global Combat Ships are protected as they, in turn, protect the UK and her interests, keeping our nuclear deterrent submarines and the UK’s two new Queen Elizabeth Class aircraft carriers safe on operations around the globe.
Supported by our rising Defence budget and our £178 billion equipment fund, Sea Ceptor is yet another example of how the MOD investing in cutting-edge kit to help our Armed Forces meet future threats.