Following consultation with EU Member States, the European Commission has just selected the MARSEUS project, which is coordinated by MBDA and consolidates, improves and expands ground combat beyond line of sight firing capabilities, for its new EDF programme. Within the framework of permanent structured cooperation (PESCO), on 19 November 2018 the EU defence ministers approved the EU BLOS (Beyond Line of Sight) project to develop a family of man-on-the-loop BLOS missile systems with back image.
The selection of MARSEUS is a second step in the technological and industrial implementation of this capability development project. The first step, the EDIDP LynkEUs project that the Commission awarded to a consortium coordinated by MBDA in 2020, is already producing real results for the three nations who signed the Letter of Intent (France, Belgium and Cyprus), and another major step is expected to be taken by the end of this year.
MARSEUS is a close partnership of the French, Belgian, Cypriot and now also Swedish armed forces. It uses an Effects Management approach to build on LynKEUs with the aim of consolidating a European operational concept that is based on the BLOS capabilities of close and collaborative combat missiles. It will also provide an opportunity for identifying and testing new emerging technological solutions that could contribute to the future development of these weapons systems architectures and it will be rounded off with examples of application on various platforms. The project management team includes 22 partners and sub-contractors from 11 EU countries.
MARSEUS concepts, integration and testing will rely on the entirely European-controlled AKERON MP and LP family of missile systems to ensure autonomy of use, security of supply and scalability. Growing geo-strategic instability is making it ever more important for European States to develop and control these ground combat capabilities independently.
MBDA and its 13 partners from Belgium (Ecole Royale Militaire, John Cockerill Defense, FN Herstal and Xenics), Cyprus (Additess and SignalGenerix), France (Novadem, ATOS, ARQUUS and DELAIR) and Sweden (SAAB, BAE Hägglunds and Exensor), as well as their eight subcontractors from eight countries, are now entering a phase of negotiation of the grant agreement with the European Commission.