THE Royal Navy will benefit from a new anti-ship missile thanks to a £500m investment from the Ministry of Defence and French government.
Future Anti-Surface Guided Weapon (Heavy) missiles use sophisticated homing technology to attack small and medium-sized targets and will be carried by the Royal Navy’s new Wildcat helicopters.
The MoD will contribute £280m towards the development of the complex weapons in the first collaborative project since the Anglo-French summit which took place at RAF Brize Norton last month.
The investment will sustain around 200 skilled UK jobs and a further 200 jobs in France.
First Sea Lord Admiral Sir George Zambellas said: ‘These state-of-the-art missiles will play their part in the maintenance of a credible navy.
‘Not only will they provide the Fleet Air Arm with a continuing battle-winning edge into the future, but they will also help to strengthen our partnership and interoperability with our good friends in the Marine Nationale.’
Minister for defence equipment, support and technology Philip Dunne added: ‘This highly sophisticated complex weapon system will provide our new Royal Navy Wildcat helicopters with unparalleled strike capabilities.
‘Not only will the contract protect around 200 specialist engineering jobs in the UK, but is an important plank in building the strength of our relationship with France through joint procurement of common equipment, which will provide interoperability and other benefits of working in partnership.’