For the fifth consecutive year MBDA recorded a high in orders, worth €4.2 billion, in 2017 while revenue amounted to €3.1 billion. By 31 December the company’s order book reached a record peak of €16.8 billion, giving the group prospects for sustained growth over the next five years.
In 2017 export orders (€2.6 billion) once again exceeded orders from the company's domestic countries (€1.6 billion). This high volume of export orders, achieved despite recent increasingly stiff American competition in Europe and the Middle East, confirms the competitiveness of MBDA products and enables the group to strengthen its critical mass vis-à-vis the US missile giants.
Export orders in 2017 notably include contracts with Qatar for MCDS coastal batteries and the arming of Fincantieri corvettes, but do not take into account the Typhoon armament for Qatar, a contract that is expected to enter into force in 2018. Other major contracts won in 2017 include VL MICA systems for GoWind corvettes in Egypt, Sea Ceptor for Type 23 frigates in Chile and Marte for fast patrollers in the UAE.
On the international front 2017 saw the creation in India of a joint venture between MBDA and its Indian partner Larsen & Toubro to meet the Indian Armed Forces' future requirements under the New Delhi government's ‘Make in India’ policy.
Domestically the year was marked in France by the first deliveries of naval cruise missiles (MdCN) and medium-range missiles (MMP) for land combat; in the United Kingdom, by the order for additional Meteor missiles to continue with integration on F-35 Lightning II; in Germany, by the formal kick-off of negotiations with the authorities on the TLVS air defence and anti-missile programme; and in Italy, by the choice of the CAMM ER missile within the framework of the replacement of the Aspide air defence missile system.
Co-operation in Europe on missile technologies also made significant progress in 2017 which will deliver future economies of scale and enhanced competitiveness in the coming years.
In this context, France and the United Kingdom launched the concept phase of the FC/ASW (future cruise/anti-ship missile) programme, which aims to replace SCALP/Storm Shadow, Exocet and Harpoon in both states.
The Franco-German summit of 13 July 2017 opened the prospect of co-operation in the segment of ground combat missiles fired from helicopters, and the development of a future European air combat system whose performance will require further leaps forward in the field of missiles.
In addition, 25 EU countries joined the Permanent Structured Cooperation initiative, which should facilitate the launch of European cooperation programmes. MBDA is proud to participate in the very first defence research programme (Ocean 2020 project), funded by the new European Defence Fund, which aims to explore future maritime monitoring and interdiction technologies.
Finally, a number of co-operation projects involving the United Kingdom and the other domestic countries made good progress in 2017 (arming of Typhoon aircraft with Germany, Italian ground-based air defence, local air defence for Spanish F 110 frigates, etc.).
MBDA CEO Antoine Bouvier declared: "The group continues to move forward on each of its three strategic pillars: to give its domestic countries guaranteed access to missile technological sovereignty, to pursue European consolidation, to develop international activities; these three actions jointly contribute to the critical mass of MBDA, that is its ability to achieve long-term development faced with its global competitors. We continue to view the future with optimism, targeting, as we expected, €4 billion in revenue by 2020. To support this growth, the group plans to hire nearly 1,200 people this year, after recruiting 1,000 in 2016 and as many in 2017."