MBDA has been awarded an estimated $585 million contract to develop an air-to-surface precision strike missile for the U.K. military’s fleet of F-35 fighter jets.
This work is intended to build on the previous assessment phase for the Selective Precision Effects at Range Capability 3 missile, MBDA said Wednesday.
Britain’s defense ministry asked its investment approvals committee in March to approve the development phase of the SPEAR program.
“[The contract] delivers a U.K. sovereign capability on the F-35 that will bring the kind of precision against moving targets previously seen with Brimstone, but at stand-off ranges that give the aircrew numerous advantages in terms of operational flexibility and survivability, ” said Dave Armstrong, MBDA’s executive group technical director and U.K. managing director.
MBDA will perform work under the weapon development phase in Stevenage, Bristol and Lostock in the U.K. through 2020.
The missile will be built as part of the U.K.’s requirement for its F-35 and the Typhoon aircraft under an optional deal.