MBDA has successfully completed two Mistral firings using a SIMBAD-RC firing post. These trials represent the last technical milestone before delivery to its first customer. They served to validate the interface between the missile and the new twin-launcher, confirming the correct departure of the missile from the firing post, as well as the system's ability to carry out salvo firings.
The first test was performed using an angle of 10° elevation, the second with an angle of 50°. Tests in different mechanical and climatic environments will complete the qualification of the system.
The SIMBAD-RC is a remotely-controlled, very short range naval air defense system that provides highly efficient capabilities against a wide range of threats, from fighter aircraft through to anti-ship missiles or small-sized threats such as Unmanned Air Vehicles.
SIMBAD-RC gives an easy to set up, self-defense capability to patrol vessels and support craft, or complements the air defense capabilities of other ship types. Each turret supports two ready-to-fire missiles. The turrets are remotely-operated and so allow the operator to remain under cover, thereby ensuring longer operational availability in case of a combat alert.
“The SIMBAD-RC program illustrates how MBDA helps customers leverage their previous acquisitions. Starting from a market standard such as the Mistral missile, of which more than 17,000 have been produced and are in service in nearly 30 countries worldwide, we have built a simple to operate and highly automated system that greatly improves the operational use of the missiles already in service,” said Antoine Bouvier, CEO of MBDA.
Meanwhile, 2015 was a year of record orders for MBDA totaling €5.2bn, thanks mainly to the Rafale and FREMM contracts signed by Egypt and Qatar. New export orders reached the exceptional level of €3.6bn, substantially outstripping new domestic orders for the fourth year in a row. Revenue picked up significantly in 2015, at €2.9bn, after reaching a low point of €2.4bn in 2014 which was a result of the pressure on European defense budgets.
With a “book-to-bill” ratio well above 1 for the third year running, MBDA has reinforced its order book, which totaled €15.1bn as of 31 December 2015 -enough to keep the company busy for five years - and is now looking forward to solid growth prospects until the end of the decade. In 2016, the group plans to hire a thousand people, mainly in France and the UK.
With a significant presence in five European countries and USA, and over 90 armed forces customers in the world, MBDA is a world leader in missiles and missile systems. MBDA is the only group capable of designing and producing missiles and missile systems that correspond to the full range of current and future operational needs of the three armed forces (land, sea and air). In total, the group offers a range of 45 missile systems and countermeasures products already in operational service and more than 15 others currently in development.
MBDA is jointly held by Airbus Group (37.5%), BAE Systems (37.5%), and Finmeccanica (25%).