Jan. 18 (UPI) -- France, Italy and Britain have renewed a contract for five years with Eurosam, the manufacturer of anti-air missiles, its owners announced on Thursday.
The agreement replaces the first New In Service Support contract that has been in place since July 2012, MBDA, which co-owns the French-Italian consortium with Thales, said in a press release.
The three countries are part of the Organization for Joint Armament Cooperation, or OCCAR.
The contract includes in-service support for French and Italian land and naval systems, as well as all Aster missiles from France, Italy and the United Kingdom. The land and naval missiles include the Principal Anti Air Missile System, Semi Active Air to Air Missile and the Surface to Air Missile Platform.
MBDA said the new contract includes improvements in the "introduction of repair packages and simplified management," as well as "cost-efficient, long-term and tailored life-cycle continuity support" for anticipated overhauls and long-term obsolescence.
"Over the past years, Eurosam systems... have protected our home nation's forces all over the world, contributing to their freedom of action and our nations influence," Abdoulaye Samba, Eurosam managing director, said during a signing ceremony.
"We are proud to have been at their side for all this time, making all efforts to keep their operational availability at the highest level. I take the renewing of our in-service support contract as a strong show of confidence from our home customers in the benefits of working in co-operation together with OCCAR and Eurosam."
Samba noted 25 European nations supported improved military capabilities and strategic autonomy into the Permanent Structured Cooperation.