Italy has joined the Franco-British Future Cruise/Anti-Ship Weapon (FC/ASW) program.
The decision was revealed during a meeting on Tuesday between the Italian Minister of Defense Guido Crosetto and his French counterpart Sebastien Lecornu, La Tribune reported.
Authorities from the three countries later signed a letter of intent for the project on the sidelines of the Paris Air Show the same day, the French outlet added.
France and the UK launched the FC/ASW program in 2017 to replace the Exocet and Harpoon anti-ship missiles operational in the British and French navies and the air-launched Storm Shadow/SCALP cruise missile with the British and French air forces, starting in 2028.
The next-generation missile program is currently pursuing two complementary missile concepts: a subsonic, low-observable concept and a supersonic, highly maneuverable concept.
“These concepts are to meet the requirements of France and the UK and will provide a game-changing capability to overcome land-based and maritime threats, hardened targets and air defense systems, at very long ranges and in increasingly contested battle space environments,” MBDA stated in 2022.
The ramjet-powered MBDA missile is expected to weigh around 800 kilograms (1,763 pounds) with a payload of three 200-kilogram (441 pounds) and two 50-kilogram (110 pounds) warheads.
The warheads will be able to strike a target together for a concentrated impact or be ejected from a lateral bay to strike multiple targets.