European missile house MBDA reported sales of $3.0bn in 2016 — slightly higher than the previous year’s $2.9bn. The result marks a return to a level of sales last achieved in 2012. At $4.7bn, new orders, though down from the previous year’s €5.2bn, were well ahead of sales for a fourth consecutive year, boosting the year-end order book by $800m, to $15.9bn.
Export orders (€1.5bn) include the equipment and missiles for the 36 Rafales ordered by India in September but not the major contracts for MCDS coastal defence systems and for arming Fincantieri's combat ships for Qatar, which were signed in 2016 and will be recorded in this year's accounts.
Among the highlights of 2016:
• the U.K. contracted the development phase of the SPEAR missile that will give the F-35 a multi-purpose stand-off precision strike capability,
• the U.K.'s family of ASRAAM/CAMM anti-air missiles won contracts to be integrated onto the F-35 and the Type 26 frigate,
• France and Italy committed to developing Aster 30 Block 1 NT,
• MBDA was contracted for the mid-life refurbishment of the Franco-British SCALP/Storm Shadow cruise missile,
• France gave the go-ahead for the mid-life update of the ASMPA air-launched nuclear missile.
On the Franco-British front, last year also saw the ratification of an intergovernmental agreement that will facilitate internal company exchanges between the two countries and allow MBDA to optimise its industrial organisation.
In other news, MBDA’s Executive Committee made a decision, effective 1 January 2017, to bring the company’s German arm, MBDA Deutschland, into the integrated perimeter of the Group.