October 23, 2015 - 09:00 ( Brasília )

Technology

Franco-British Missile Research Funding Extended to 2018


Owing to the success of the on-going research co-operation into missile technologies, on 1st October 2015 the French and British governments via, respectively, the Direction générale de l'armement (DGA – French Defence Procurement and Technology Agency) and the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (on behalf of the UK Ministry of Defence) agreed to extend their funding of the Materials & Components for Missiles Innovation Technology Partnership (MCM ITP).

This funding provides for a further twenty one projects and includes the opportunity for new organisations to propose new projects for the programme to start in September 2016.

The MCM ITP aims to consolidate the UK-French complex weapons capability, strengthen the technological base and allow better understanding of common future needs. The programme manages a portfolio of over 121 cutting-edge technologies which hold the promise of major advances, but are still at the laboratory stage today.

With an annual budget of up to €12.5m combining government and industry funding and 30% of the budget targeted towards Small & Medium Enterprises (SMEs) and academia, the MCM ITP has become the cornerstone of future collaborative research and technology demonstration programmes for UK-French missile systems. The individual results of the research are presented at a conference and exhibition which this year is held on the 21–22 October in Brighton, UK.

The Head of the MCM ITP Programme, Mark Owen, welcomed the news saying, ‘We are glad to witness the UK and French governments commitment extended over the next two years. The call for new project proposals is now open on the MCM ITP website and will close 30 November 2015. This gives the opportunity for UK/FR organisations to access this funding, with any projects that are approved starting in September 2016.
 
The MCM ITP (www.mcmitp.com) is funded equally by the governments and the industrial partners and is composed of research projects on innovative and exploratory technologies and techniques for future missiles. There is strong participation from SMEs and academia with 76 participating in the programme to date, and a total of 121 organisations involved in the overall programme.

Government funding from Defence Science and Technology Laboratory as part of the UK Ministry of Defence and the French DGA is matched equally by industry funds to achieve the annual budget.

The MCM-ITP programme will allow technologies to be matured in the laboratory which, once validated, can then become part of future technology demonstrators of missiles, equipment or missile systems, before being used by the Armed Forces in weapons which could enter into service during the next decade and beyond.

This programme covers all domains relevant to missile development (including systems, infrared and radar sensors, solid propulsion, air-breathing propulsion, warheads, safety and arming units and fuzes, materials and electronics), with each of these domains being led by MBDA or one of its MCM ITP partners (Nexter, QinetiQ, Roxel, Safran Microturbo, Selex ES and Thales).