Sunday, November 27, 2011

MBDA To Build Facility To Disarm Cluster Bombs

PARIS - MBDA is set to invest about 15 million euros ($16 million) to set up a plant in central France to disarm cluster weapons as part of a new business pursuit, the European missile maker said Nov. 25.
"MBDA undertakes to establish within two years, and within national territory, a facility to process classified munitions in accordance with the very strict regulations that apply to defense safety; namely operational reliability and respect for the environment," the company said in a statement.
Creation of the munitions processing plant at its Bourges Subdray site follows a Nov. 3 contract from the NATO Maintenance and Supply Agency for the destruction of 36,000 complex munitions, the statement said.
MBDA expects to create 20 new jobs at the facility.
"The demilitarization of complex weapons has become a new strategic activity for MBDA," said MBDA Executive Chairman Antoine Bouvier.
"Customers not only require guaranteed availability and sustained support for their equipment, but also that we ensure the safe end-of-life disposal of their complex weapons, as well," he said.
Under the contract, MBDA is in charge of disposing of more than 1,000 missiles; 22,000 M26 rockets (formerly used in multiple launch rocket systems), each containing 644 submunitions; and 13,000 155mm grenade shells, each containing 63 submunitions, totaling more than 15 million submunitions.
The work is due to be complete by 2017.
MBDA worked with Esplodenti Sabino and Aid of Italy, and NAMMO of Norway to bid for the NATO contract.
The contract follows the Oslo Convention, which outlawed cluster munitions and called on signatory states to dispose of their weapons by 2018.

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