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European missiles manufacturer MBDA has been awarded a joint contract by the UK and French Ministries of Defence to provide mid-life upgrade of Storm Shadow / SCALP EG air-launched cruise missiles.

The Storm Shadow / SCALP EG mid-life refurbishment programme will help expand the operational life of the missiles against the anticipated evolving threat for another ten years.

MBDA Sales and Business Development executive group director and UK managing director Dave Armstrong said: “This combined investment by the two countries ensures that Storm Shadow / SCALP will be maintained at its optimum level long into the future.

“It is also proof of the confidence given by France and UK in MBDA’s ability to carry out European defence programmes.”

Being a major step in the Franco-British route map, the current project will help the two nations continue their cooperation in the deep strike domain that began with the launch of the Storm Shadow / SCALP programme in 1996.

MBDA CEO Antoine Bouvier said: “This model today remains unique in the defence industry.

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"It is also proof of the confidence given by France and UK in MBDA’s ability to carry out European defence programmes."

“But it has given our customers in Europe, as well as in our export markets, access at an affordable cost to operational capabilities with no equivalent in the world, such as SCALP / Storm Shadow but also Meteor and Aster missiles.”

The Storm Shadow / SCALP mid-life upgrade project will comprise a development phase and will be validated by a wide range of flight trials to be conducted throughout 2019.

By early 2020, the first refurbished Storm Shadow / SCALP EG missiles are expected to be operating again for the UK and French armed forces.

Image: Wing Commander Dave Robertson and Squadron Leader Andy Myers before taking off on a Tornado GR4 night mission over Iraq armed with the Royal Air Force’s Storm Shadow missile. Photo: courtesy of MBDA.