LONDON, July 2 (UPI) -- A facility for demilitarizing military munitions was inaugurated Wednesday in central France by MBDA for the French Ministry of Defense.
The facility -- two years in the building -- will allow France to comply with a 2009 United Nations treaty that requires signatory members to dismantle their stockpiles of cluster bombs by 2018.
"The new facility represents an investment of around 12 million euros (about $16.4 million) and the creation of 20 new, direct jobs in the center region of France," MBDA said. "It also represents MBDA's response to the French Government's desire to set up an end of life munitions dismantling capability on home territory in order to guarantee the confidentiality of its products, the safety standards associated with pyrotechnic operations and the protection of the environment."
The contract for the facility was issued by NATO's Integrated Logistics and Services Provider Agency on behalf of the French Ministry of Defense.
Missile system company MBDA said its building of the facility represents an opportunity for it to extend its portfolio of activities -- from design of weapons through to their destruction.
"As the European leader in missile systems, MBDA is committed to establishing firm and long-lasting partnerships with its domestic and export customers," said MBDA Chief Executive Officer Antoine Bouvier. "These customers now expect not only a guarantee of security of supply and support for their products but more and more they are beginning to recognize the need to assure the safe treatment of their complex weapons at the end of their service life.
"Thanks to this new industrial installation in Bourges Subdray, we are displaying our willingness to further reinforce the partnering relationship we undertake with our military customers."
MBDA is a joint venture company of the Airbus Group, BAE Systems, and Finmeccanica.