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Eurosatory 2024: European countries pave way for joint Mistral procurement

MBDA displayed the Mistral 3 missile at Eurosatory 2024. (Janes/Christopher Petrov)

France, Belgium, Cyprus, Estonia, and Hungary signed a framework co-operation arrangement for the joint acquisition of the Mistral 3 ground-based very short-range air-defence (VSHORAD) system on the third day of the Eurosatory 2024 defence exhibition held in Paris from 17 to 21 June.

Under the agreement, the French defence procurement agency (Direction Générale de l'Armement: DGA), supported by MBDA, will procure Mistrals for the five countries from the European missile house. MBDA said in a press release on 19 June that the arrangement gives partner nations access to an improved acquisition process that meets the armed forces' requirements.

The DGA said on its website on 19 June that the signature of the framework co-operation arrangement gives concrete shape to the letter of intent signed by the five countries at the air defence and anti-missile defence conference in Paris on 19 June 2023, aggregating their demand. The Mistral procurement is eligible for funding under the European Union's (EU's) European defence industry reinforcement through common procurement act (EDIRPA), one of whose priorities is air defence and anti-missile defence, according to the DGA.

The DGA reported “strong interest” in Mistral 3 from other countries and expected them to join the joint procurement programme soon. It estimated the total volume to exceed 1,500 missiles.

In a statement on 19 June, MBDA CEO Eric Béranger said, “This co-operation is a major step forward in strengthening the defence capabilities of the European Union and its member states, contributing to collective security and sovereignty. This agreement will drive efficiencies and enhance the resilience of the European defence industrial base.”

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