Loïc Piedevache, Country Head

 Chiba, Tokyo. 14 March 2023. “At MBDA, our people continued to maintain close contact with our customers during the global pandemic, remaining either in country or virtually with online communication tools. Just prior to the pandemic, we had just started to use the MBDA Digital Experience at major exhibitions. As global travel stopped, we took this immersive experience online for our customers. As exhibitions resumed, we have had the MBDA Digital Experience more frequently on our stands. We have also introduced more interactive screens to our stands, complimentary to our Digital Experience, for example like the ones visitors will see on our stand at DSEI Japan,” said Loïc Piedevache, Corporate Marketing Group Director, MBDA, in an exclusive interview to Aviation & Defence Universe (ADU) on the eve of  DSEI Japan 2023.

 ADU. What is MBDA’s focus here at DSEI Japan?

 Loic Piedevache. As the European leader in missiles and missile systems, we provide comprehensive effector solutions across the land, naval and air domains. At DSEI Japan 2023, visitors to our stand will be able to find out everything they need to know about Meteor, the Beyond Visual Range Air-To-Air Missile, and the SPEAR family of network- enabled precision surface attack and electronic warfare capabilities.

Sea Ceptor shipWe are also showcasing our Naval Based Air Defence (NBAD) capability, the Sea Ceptor ship-based, all weather, weapon system with the CAMM (Common Anti-air Modular Missile). MBDA is currently working with BAE Systems and Lockheed Martin to integrate Meteor and SPEAR onto F-35. Whilst Sea Ceptor uses CAMM, which can be ‘quad-packed’ into the Mk 41 VLS.

So we are highlighting to those operating F-35 or using Mk 41 VLS that they can easily integrate these solutions onto their respective platforms, should they choose to.

ADU. What are the newest technologies that MBDA is marketing to the defence forces  of the world?

Loic Piedevache. SPEAR and SPEAR-EW, which are on display at DSEI Japan, are some of the newest products we are marketing, but many of the products that are in service and that we market are at the leading edge of technology. For example, Meteor has revolutionised air-to-air combat in the 21st century with the largest No Escape Zone of any air-to-air missile system, and thanks to its novel soft vertical launch technology, CAMM has a minimal launch signature and provides 360° coverage with a high rate of fire against multiple simultaneous targets.

missiles ADU. What makes MBDA unique as a business?

 Loic Piedevache. MBDA is the only European group capable of designing and producing missiles and missile systems to meet the whole range of current and future needs of the three armed forces. We develop partnering relationships that provide sovereign capabilities, and we promote cooperation and industrial consolidation. Altogether, this helps us deliver operational excellence and maintains our industry leadership.

ADU. What countries does MBDA mainly market itself in, and are there any regions experiencing particular growth?

 Loic Piedevache. MBDA is a Global player, and you will find us working with countries armed forces around the world. Throughout the year, we are present at many exhibitions across every continent. We have worked hard to see growth in all our regions and I believe reflected in the contracts we are gaining in Europe, the Americas, the Middle East, and elsewhere.

HelicopterADU. Does MBDA market its willingness to establish local facilities in new nations?

 Loic Piedevache. Cooperation is in MBDA’s DNA, and this includes industrial cooperation in the countries we work with. It is not only about facilities, but also cooperation on the transfer of knowledge and expertise. This is an excellent way to develop defence industrial capabilities with a partner nation, which then guarantees them access to capability and to sovereignty and freedom of use.

ADU. How does MBDA foster innovation, and are you open to partnering with start- ups and other SMEs?

 Loic Piedvache. Innovation is at the heart of MBDA and a core value for the group. We are not a ‘closed shop’ to innovation and welcome the involvement of our customers, suppliers, SMEs, laboratories, institutes and universities as our partners in innovation. We have developed a global scheme for collaborating with innovators called “E3” (Explore, Engage and Endure). This policy aims at reinforcing our ability to innovate with partners in an agile and sustainable manner.