MBDA, the missile manufacturer owned by BAE Systems, EADS and Finmeccanica, has appointed Antoine Bouvier as its new chief executive. He replaces Marwan Lahoud. Bouvier was most recently chief executive officer of EADS Astrium Satellites, a post he took up in 2002, and before that he held senior positions at ATR culminating in his becoming chief executive in 1998.
The appointment comes at an important time for MBDA with key integration testing of its Meteor beyond visual range (BVR) missile on the Eurofighter Typhoon having started in May. Flutter tests are taking place at Finmeccanica’s test centers in Turin and Decimomannu, using the IPA02 development aircraft (the second Instrumented Production Aircraft).
MBDA leads the Meteor program team with key partners including Saab Bofors Dynamics of Sweden and INMIZE of Spain. The missile is being developed to meet the requirements of six European nations (France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Sweden and the UK) and will be capable of being integrated on Eurofighter Typhoon, Saab Gripen and Dassault Rafale. MBDA adds that the missile also has the potential to add to the air-to-air capabilities of the Joint Strike Fighter.
Test firings were made last month on the Saab Gripen platform at the Qinetiq-managed UK Ministry of Defence firing range in the Hebrides, off the north coast. “This is another major achievement for the Meteor program, pushing the performance envelope and demonstrating the progress in the development of this air dominance missile,” said Meteor multinational project director Dave Armstrong following the successful Gripen test.