Rolls-Royce, Safran Team On Cruise Missile Engine Development

Credit: MBDA

FARNBOROUGH–The Power Units of Rolls-Royce and Safran are partnering to develop an engine for the subsonic cruise missile element of the Franco-British Future Cruise/Anti-Ship Weapon (FC/ASW) program.

The two propulsion OEMs signed an assessment phase contract with MBDA–the lead developer of the FC/ASW (FMAN-FMC in France)–at the Farnborough Airshow. 

The two companies will work with MBDA on the propulsion requirements. The subsonic cruise missile is one of two weapons being developed through the FC/ASW program. The other is a supersonic anti-ship missile. They will replace the MBDA Storm Shadow and Scalp air-launched cruise missiles used by the French Air Force and Navy as well as the UK Royal Air Force. 

Both Scalp and Storm Shadow use turbojet engines developed by Safran’s Microturbo business, which is now part of the French OEM’s Power Units business.

The agreement follows the move into the program’s assessment phase in February after a long-running concept phase contracted in 2017.

Eric Beranger, MBDA’s CEO, said the FC/ASW program was a “strategic project” for the UK and French governments, and that the joint expertise of the two engine companies would “prove fundamental to the success of the subsonic FC/ASW concept.” 

Tony Osborne

Based in London, Tony covers European defense programs. Prior to joining Aviation Week in November 2012, Tony was at Shephard Media Group where he was deputy editor for Rotorhub and Defence Helicopter magazines.