The very first French missile-dismantling factory, designed by MBDA European missile manufacturer and based on its Bourges-Subdray site (Department of Cher), has been operational since June 2014. One of the buildings includes a high-pressure waterjet cutting unit manufactured by Aquarese.
A new trade for MBDA, a new water-jet cutting application for Aquarese.
The factory has been running operationally for several months and sees its production rate increase gradually.
Three major phases are performed on the site:
–The dismantling of missiles into sub-assemblies,
–The high-pressure cutting of propulsive units,
–The thermal treatment of high-pressure cuttings.
A building is dedicated to the propulsive-unit cutting machinery designed by Aquarese.
The robot cutting and handling the parts is piloted remotely from a control room. It cuts off the propulsive units into 3kg-maximum pieces. These small pyrotechnical part slugs are then stored and conditioned in order to be destroyed in the Thermal Treatment Unit. For Aquarese, this high-pressure water-jet application is a new one, designed to run in a highly strategic field. Indeed, the Bourges factory is a result of the State’s commitment to develop a national capacity to dismantle missiles, while guaranteeing the protection of fabrication secrets concerning these sensitive weapons. All MBDA partners have applied themselves to complying with the same requirement and non-disclosure level.
What about the future?
Further to the French requirement, MBDA intends to offer this new service on the export market, which means to 50 client countries across the world, and particularly to Middle East and Asia.
… which may be likely to open up new industrial horizons for Aquarese…