European missile companies to make bigger bang

Precision-Optical Engineering’s parent company, Matra BAe Dynamics UK Ltd is joining together with other European companies to form a much larger organisation to serve the needs of the European missile market.

The new company, dubbed MBDA, will incorporate Aerospatiale Matra Missiles and the missiles business of Alenia Marconi Systems.

The three shareholders of MBDA are BAE Systems, EADS and Finmeccania.

Three national operating companies will be set up to combine their assets in the UK, France and Italy.

P-OE, which designs and manufactures optical sub assemblies, expects increased opportunities from the enlarged organisation to demonstrate its expertise in the supply of optics for seekers, proximity fuse optics, ground based electro optical tracking equipment and optical and infra-red sighting systems.

The new company will employ around 12,000 people and anticipates annual sales of US$1.5 to $2.5 billion.