Software Engineering
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Develop a career and a skill-set as unique as you

Technology matters more at MBDA. Our ever-evolving team powers the business across Europe and brings the next generation of defence solutions to life. Our innovations are at the heart of almost every project here. And the role we play in MBDA’s success is only getting bigger.

Together we experiment, innovate and create across the full product lifecycle. We explore and push the limits of technology to find ingenious answers to challenges you won’t find anywhere else. In a collaborative and close-knit culture, we support each other to learn, explore and deliver excellence. And we never stop searching for better because we know how much our work means.

Explore this page, the video below and our blogs to find out more about life at MBDA in our Software teams from the people that work here. Ready to join the team? Explore our job opportunities via the button below.

Software Vacancies 

Meet Our Software Experts

In this video you will hear from some of our Software Engineers about how their work is integral to our products, services and overall mission and purpose as a European leader in defence.

Our teams

Real Time Software

Real Time Software UK have the unique role of developing the complex, safe and highly reliable real-time software that powers MBDA’s missile systems and their components, ensuring that they provide the performance and functionality our users require when they need it.

Our team's mission is to produce the software that gives the United Kingdom and her allies the strategic edge in military capability. Ensuring that our systems perform as required:  first time, every time.

We are involved all the way through development – from concept studies through trials firings and the move into production and service. Real Time Software is at the heart of many missile subsystems, including:

Radars and Electro-optical sensors, known as “Seekers” and “Imagers” – these allow the missile to search for, detect and track a target.

Flight Computers (known as WCUs), these are the computers that control the missile through all phases of air-carry and flight.  The WCU communicates with all the missile subsystems to safely launch the missile, calculate and fly the route to the target, and communicate with the launch platform before and often during the mission

Radio systems, such as Datalinks and Telemetry subsystems. These systems have to be highly secure and reliable, and able to operate over long range in extreme environments.

Actuation systems, controlling moving components such as control surfaces, wings, pumps and steerable antennas.

Launchers, electro-mechanical systems that both facilitate communication between the “platform” (for example, an aircraft) and the missile, and allow the safe launch of the missile when, and only when, the user requires it.

Common software, such as Operating Systems, device drivers, board-support packages, communication middleware, Machine Learning frameworks.

Test Support Software, such as manufacturing test software and simulation/emulation software to enable aircraft integration; often this is in collaboration with the Test Software Department.


Due to the nature of our work, Real Time Software engineers work closely with engineers from other disciplines, modellers, subject matter experts and scientists to develop and test these products, and bring them together into a complete system.

The department covers the full software development lifecycle – there are over 100 of us today, and we will continue to grow over the coming years.


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Test Software

Test Software UK work to deliver the MBDA UK test capability in partnership with colleagues in Electronic Design, the Test Centre of Excellence and other areas of Software Engineering.

Our mission as a function is to facilitate robust and timely test of missile systems and ensure MBDA continues to provide a decisive military capability for our home nations and their allies.

Spanning a diverse portfolio of work packages, Test Software UK directly influences the company’s product certification, manufacturing output and support activities.

Specifically, Test Software UK are responsible for developing and supporting software packages that utilise Test Equipment hardware to configure, verify and validate the conformance and quality of our MBDA UK product range from development, through production and into field test scenarios. 

It is a multi-disciplined, dynamic, focused and agile team of about 50 engineers specialising in all aspects of test solution design, including software, hardware, simulation and real-time systems.  It is a place to learn about the company's entire product portfolio, whilst embracing the change to DevOps and other innovative technologies. Within Test Software we are organised into three groups:


Production Test

The Production Test Group supplies a wide range of test software products into the MBDA manufacturing and live build facilities.   It also supplies products for use in customer service and build depots as well as numerous field test systems.


Functional Test

The Functional Test Group deliver a wide range of software that supports both design proving and field usage, this includes but is not limited to development covering simulators, emulators, hardware and system test for MBDA UK concept and development products.


Manufacturing Intelligence and Support (MIS)

The MIS Group provide day-to-day support for the current production test software as well as delivering the next-generation production test solutions.  MIS is also responsible for delivery and support of an innovative browser based manufacturing monitoring solution.  This system interfaces with the live production test equipment and incorporates some of the very latest software development technologies and techniques.


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Mission Planning & Control

Mission Planning and Control develop, support and deliver a range of software products for future, new and existing programmes including Storm Shadow, FC/ASW, SPEAR3, Brimstone, Land Ceptor, Sea Ceptor and Sea Viper.  Mission Planning & Control work in partnership in the UK and internationally with colleagues and companies collaboratively to deliver Mission Winning Effects.

Our team's mission is to deliver Mission Planning and Control software products to give the United Kingdom and our allies the strategic edge in military capability. Supporting the development of our people to be the best in their chosen pathway.

We are a team of around 50 people currently, comprising a mix of Software Engineers, Project Leads, Product Owners and Scrum Masters with a secure and growing future workload.


Our challenge:

Our environment is complex and challenging; our products are leading edge;  and our customers want increasing capability and reduced time to market.  We are dynamic and embrace new approaches and technologies wherever we can to provide critical national security benefit and protection to our Armed Forces and Export partners.


What We Do:

Depending on the specific project, we apply appropriate approaches and technologies to deliver customer value including:

  • Mix of languages such as Java, C++ and C#
  • Various HMI and GIS frameworks including in-house and COTs tools
  • Full stack development
  • Cover all aspects of the software development lifecycle
  • Agile or other lifecycles as appropriate
  • DevOps
  • Working and integrating with partner or customer organisation and systems
  • Windows and Linux used across our products with skills and capabilities in current and future technologies offering prototyping, experimentation and demonstration
  • Cyber and Networking development



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Training Simulator Software

Please bear with us while we update this section. 

You can still follow the link below to explore our current vacancies. 


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Command & Control and Firing Unit

The Command & Control and Firing Unit Department is responsible for developing our world-class software for Command and Control, Battle Management, Network Enabled Capabilities and Ground Battlefield Engagement systems and to support the development of future capabilities through efficient processes, open architectures and software product lines.

Our systems are in service with the Royal Navy and multiple friendly navies around the world for our Sea Ceptor Air Defence Systems, the RN for our Sea Viper Air Defence System and the British Army for our Ground Based Air Defence System.

Our environment is becoming even more challenging and MBDA and our customers require products with an evolutionary capability and an accelerated time to market. We have developed a large range of products, skills, tools and competencies to meet these very challenging and diverse programmes – from future systems technology demonstrators, taking in innovative developments for delivery for in-service systems to upgrading mature in-service weapons systems.

Software Engineering is changing to meet these challenges by the use of product lines, component based engineering, more agile processes and devops working practices, cutting-edge tools, high performing teams and investment in the development and training of our engineers and leaders with extended multi-domain knowledge.


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What our people are saying

Emily, Senior Software Engineer

“My job mostly consists of writing test definition scripts and scenarios, on the virtual machines or the rig in the lab and analysing the results. I like the variety and mix of desk and lab work, and working within a team”.

Jack, Senior Software Engineer

“My work very much varies from week to week depending on the stage of the project that I am working on. This can range from working at home, developing code to operating in a lab, integrating software onto a test environment. The work is all planned in a small agile team with a variety of age ranges and backgrounds.” 

Sherina, Senior Support Engineer

"The best thing about MBDA now is Dynamic Working allowing you to maintain a healthy work life balance. I also like the active approach MBDA take towards promoting STEM careers to young people and women in engineering."

"Support for career development has come from many people. Line managers are there to support you during your current role and by having honest conversations about what you are looking for they will try to tailor the placement to encourage your development."