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France, U.K. unveil new agreement on next-generation missiles

By Ryan Maass
France, U.K. unveil new agreement on next-generation missiles
Defence Secretary Michael Fallon and French Minister for Defence Monsieur Le Drian. Photo courtesy of the U.K. Ministry of Defense

LONDON, Nov. 4 (UPI) -- U.K. Defense Secretary Michael Fallon announced a new agreement with France for the production of next-generation missiles.

French Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian visited London to formally reaffirm the defense relationship between the two countries, leading to an agreement on sharing new technologies and the development of new weapons. One new missile is the anti-ship Sea Venom missile, which will be produced by missile contractor MBDA.

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The new agreement follows an earlier effort by both governments to increase collaboration in missile systems, beginning in 2010.

"Our defense relationship with France continues to thrive," Fallon said in a statement. "The joint development of next generation missiles is just the latest example of this."

The meeting between the two defense ministry heads also solidified the close security relationship between the U.K. and France, including the major exercise Griffin Strike in April 2016, which will involve armed forces from both countries, work to ensure safety of nuclear weapons, cooperation on counter-terrorism operations, and cybersecurity.

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