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U.k., France Begin Joint Mine-countermeasures Program

Discussion in 'The Americas' started by Vergennes, Oct 22, 2016.

  1. Vergennes

    Vergennes Strategist Staff Member MILITARY STRATEGIST

    Oct 18, 2016
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    LONDON — The U.K. Minister for Defence (MoD) Procurement Harriett Baldwin and her French counterpart, Laurent Collet-Billon, launched the next phase of a $142.8 million joint Maritime Mine Counter Measures (MMCM) program, the MoD announced in an Oct. 20 release.

    The MMCM program will develop cutting-edge maritime mine warfare capability, a capability that will keep the United Kingdom and France at the forefront of autonomous systems technology. The development and deployment of unmanned mine clearance vehicle will help keep our personnel safe in challenging maritime environments.

    “This innovative project further strengthens the U.K.-French defense relationship and supports cutting edge research on both sides of the Channel,” Baldwin said. “The development of advanced autonomous mine countermeasures capability will safeguard our strategic interests, secure around 150 jobs in the U.K. supply chain, and protect our brave and skilled personnel.”

    The MMCM program builds on the commitment of the 2010 Lancaster House Treaty to strengthen bilateral cooperation between the United Kingdom and France in order to improve collective defense capability within Europe and NATO.

    “Harriett Baldwin, minister for defence procurement, and I launched today the construction phase of the MMCM project, cornerstone of France’s ‘Système de lutte anti-mines future’ (SLAMF) program,” said Collet-Billon, France’s délégué général pour l’Armement. “It is a step further in the accomplishment of the strategy initiated since the Lancaster House Summit in 2010 aimed at strengthening the effectiveness and operational interoperability of our mine warfare systems, and to support the excellence of the Franco-British industrial base.”

    Such cooperation allows the United Kingdom and France to share costs, build expertise, and increase the ability of their armed forces to work together effectively and flexibly. A prototype will be delivered to each navy in 2019.

    Led by Thales, this joint program draws on the expertise of companies from both sides of the channel to the benefit of both nations. Work will be shared between U.K. and French supply chains, as will the considerable export opportunities arising from such innovative technology. The delivery of the program will also open up opportunities for further collaboration on equipment and operations, supporting the security and prosperity of both nations.

    The MoD’s Innovation Initiative will drive the development of advanced technology and create a culture that is innovative by instinct and international in scope. This commitment to innovation was on display recently at the Unmanned Warrior exercise in Scotland, during which 40 companies and organizations demonstrated the latest unmanned systems technology. This drive for international innovation will be further strengthened by U.K.-French collaboration on MMCM. The success of the program’s design phase is testament to the benefits of such a cooperative approach.

    BMD likes this.

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