France | Industries prioritize orders of anti-aircraft missiles
Defence Redefined
Published on 30/04/2024 at 11:34

The Armed Forces Ministry of France has instructed industries involved in the production of Aster anti-aircraft and anti-ballistic missiles to prioritize the execution of these orders over others, Minister Sebastien Lecorny announced.

The obligation mainly concerns the Aubert et Duval industry, which produces special steel for both civil aeronautics and submarines or Caesar cannons, a source with knowledge of the matter said.

The Aster 15 and 30 missiles are manufactured by MBDA, a joint venture between France and Italy. The two countries have provided an undisclosed number of such missiles to Ukraine for its air defence, but Kiev is asking for more.

This missile is also used in the Red Sea against drones launched by the Houthi rebels.

Sébastien Lecorny had left open the possibility at the end of March of giving such an order so that industries would build more missiles at a faster rate.

MBDA estimates it will shorten Aster production time from 42 months in 2022 to less than 18 months in 2026 and production will increase by 50 percent, according to its President, Eric Beranger.

Lecorny commented, however, that some bureaucratic customs issues between France and Italy will need to be resolved, which may delay the production of the missiles.

The actors of the defence industry must understand that we must work faster, that the future of the country depends on this work. This thing is not yet clear, said the Italian Minister.

Final assembly of the Aster takes place in France, but Lecorni said that he sees positively Rome’s request to set up a second assembly line in Italy.

Also read: MBDA France – MILTECH HELLAS SA | Cooperation on Aster and Exocet

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