Based in France and the United Kingdom, Roxel designs, develops, manufactures and sells solid propulsion systems and related equipment for all types of rockets and tactical and cruise missiles for air, sea and ground forces.
Roxel has proven capabilities in the chemistry of energetic materials, interior ballistics and mechanical fields, offering its customers bespoke solutions for all elements of propulsion systems (structures, thermal protection, energetic and inert materials).
Roxel can meet the most complex requirements in terms of performance, quality and safety. Roxel is the world leader in insensitive munitions (IM) technology for minimum smoke rocket motors.
Roxel’s rocket motors are used in all types of missiles and rockets: air-to-air, ground-to-air, artillery, anti-ship, anti-tank, air-to ground, cruise missiles and guided bombs. For instance, Roxel is responsible for propulsion systems used in the following missiles: EXOCET Family, ASTER Family, MAGIC, MICA, MILAN, ASRAAM, RBS15, CAMM, MMP, etc. Moreover, Roxel designs and supplies pyromechanisms, gas generators and a standardised family of motors for the decoy system, target and drone market.
In 2001, Roxel seized the opportunity to apply its know-how in flow forming to produce thrust link tubes for the Airbus A380 programme.
This experience encouraged Roxel to continue exploring new applications for some of its technologies, such as composite materials, which can also meet the requirements of the civil aviation industry.
Roxel set up a dedicated team for this activity focused on:
• Mechanical components
• Composite components
Roxel is an Anglo-French Group founded in February 2003 by the merging of Celerg of France (a JV born from the combination of SNPE and Aerospatiale in 1992) and Royal Ordnance Rocket Motors of the UK (a division of BAE Systems).
In May 2008, Protac joined Roxel, as a leading French designer and manufacturer of rocket and missile motors. Protac was formed in 1994 from the merging of the propulsion activities of Thomson Brandt Armements and Bayern-Chemie.
Through its origins, Roxel has a long tradition in the field of solid propulsion. This decades-old tradition results from each site’s own history and workforce (St Médard: 1960; Summerfield: 1951; Bourges: 1965; La Ferté: 1938).
Chief Executive Officer
VP Sales & Marketing
Chief Programmes Officer
Chief Technology Officer
Chief Financial Officer
VP Quality & Continuous Improvement
VP Operations France
Dep. Chief Programmes Officer & Group Risk Manager
Le Plessis-Robinson (near Paris) – France
Business center “La Boursidière”
Immeuble Jura – 92357 Le Plessis Robinson
Telephone : +33(0) 141 07 82 55 | Fax : +33(0) 141 07 82 03
Group headquarters, Sales & Marketing Directorate, Strategy, Communication, Legal
La Ferté Saint-Aubin (Centre, near Orléans) – France
Route d’Ardon – 45240 La Ferté-Saint-Aubin
Telephone : +33 (0) 238 51 66 66 | Fax : +33 (0) 238 51 66 33
Manufacture and control of inert materials • Industrialisation & manufacture of rocket motor cases • Flowforming (all types of metals) • Study, design and manufacture of thrust struts and other aeronautical devices • Industrialisation & manufacture of rocket motor thermal insulations • Manufacture of rocket motor thermal insulations (presses, autoclave…)
Bourges production site
Bourges (Centre) – France
N 151 – 18570 Le Subdray
Telephone : +33 (0) 248 55 92 00 | Fax : +33 (0) 248 55 92 90
Study and design of solid rocket motors • Full integration of rocket motors • Test centre • Study, design and manufacture of igniters • Rocket motor disposal
St Médard-en-Jalles (Aquitaine, near Bordeaux) – France
BP 50058 – Avenue Gay Lussac – 33167 Saint-Médard-en-Jalles
Telephone : +33 (0) 556 70 50 50 | Fax : +33 (0) 556 70 75 22
Study and design of solid rocket motors • Manufacture and implementation of the different types of propellant (Composites, Extruded double base (EDB), solvent less) • Test centre • Integration (Rocket and drones) • Manufacture and control of liners and inhibitors • Study, design and manufacture of igniters • Rocket motor disposal
Summerfield (Worcestershire, near Birmingham) – United Kingdom
Summerfield – Kidderminster
Worcestershire DY11 7RZ
Telephone : +44 (0) 1562 82 40 61 | Fax : +44 (0) 1562 82 81 26
Study, design and manufacture of solid rocket motors • Full integration of rocket motors • Test centre (including Wyre Forest facility) • Manufacture and implementation of Cast double base (CDB) • Specialist capability for small EDB charges • CDB and inert material lab • SSL structure (steel strip laminate) • Study, design and manufacture of igniters
Thanks to its expertise covering all rocket motor components and their interfaces, Roxel can design and develop complete rocket motors based upon the customer’s specifications.
Roxel’s field of competence encompasses propulsion for land, naval and air applications. It includes products such as air-to-ground artillery rockets, tactical missiles and cruise missiles.
Based on his recognised expertise, Roxel has already supplied customers with the following:
• Innovative propulsion systems from initial concept
• Mid-life upgrades of existing systems
• Relifing of existing systems
• Remotorisation of existing systems
• Cooperative design of motors in partnership with local designers and/or manufacturers
Roxel uses modelling and simulation to optimise solutions versus system requirements at the preliminary phase and the development phase:
• by reducing the number of prototypes and tests required to reach qualification
• by improving the return on investment of each test (definition and analysis of measurements)
• by providing efficient support in any failure analysis
Roxel has experience in modelling design studies for:
• Ballistic analysis
• Mechanical and thermal analysis
• Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD)
• Thermochemical analysis
• Reliability / failure analysis
• Insensitive Munitions modelling
Besides design and development, Roxel can manage the entire production of a rocket motor from structures, energetic or inert material to the assembly of those elements.
Roxel has four production sites, located in France (Saint-Médard, Bourges, La Ferté Saint-Aubin) and the United Kingdom (Summerfield), with the highest safety and quality standards in the field of pyrotechnics.
Roxel produces all types of energetic materials: extruded double base (EDB), cast double base (CDB), composites.
Roxel’s expertise covers the production of structures using a wide range of manufacturing processes such as: flow forming, steel strip laminate (SSL), Kevlar overwound aluminium (KOA) and laser welding, including for motor final assembly. Roxel possesses the capability to perform the operations needed to prepare structures (sanding, cleaning, washing, etc.) before continuing the production cycle.
Regarding inert materials, Roxel’s main processes are: casting, extrusion, filament winding over propellant, injection and spray lining.
The above elements and elementary parts procured externally are integrated into rocket motors in Roxel’s facilities. At final assembly stage, Roxel ensures different operations such as welding, painting, etc.
At each step of the production process, Roxel performs on-site quality controls, including tests on specific benches.
Roxel has COFREND-COSAC level 1 and 2 (dye penetrant, ultrasonic inspection, radiology) certified personnel in France and ASNT level 3 (radiology, ultrasonics, magnetic particle and dye penetrant) certified personnel in the UK. Supply chain management is provided by a dedicated team spread over the different sites.
Roxel has an extensive range of test equipment for all types of measurements and performs all development tests and acceptance tests for motors and other systems for customers as well as for its own needs.
• All types of motor bench: horizontal and vertical, 6-axis bench
• Specific benches: vacuum pressure, under water, water depth simulating, vertical and horizontal, spinning, centrifuge
• Other capabilities: thermal insulation, functional test with cold gas, bursting with or without mechanical stress, kerosene torch
• Plume transparency and luminance
• All parameters: pressure, blast overpressure, thrust, shock, strain, temperature, etc.
• Video capture and high-speed video
• Fast data acquisition module
• Real-time control, display and X-ray visualisation
• Ultrasonic measurements and IR thermo vision
• Up to 4 m long / 600 mm diameter / 1,200 kg of propellant
• Before testing: pyrotechnic building for integration and instrumentation / vibration and thermal cycle / X-ray inspection
• After testing: dedicated evaluation room
Roxel offers tailor-made turnkey solid propulsion system solutions with unique services:
• Support for development projects
• Comprehensive support including: technical assistance, safety and hazard analysis, energetic material characterisation and sensitivity testing, as well as rocket motor test and evaluation
• Industrial cooperation
• Technology transfer (facility set up and commissioning, training and support)
• Rocket motor disposal
• Training courses on specific topics (standard or customised)
Pulse motors are the simplest way to achieve thrust modulation. The most popular form of pulse motor is the dual pulse motor. They are very promising candidates for the next generation of missiles.
The key characteristic of the motor is the management of different thrust impulses according to mission needs.
Pulse management is performed by several propellant charges separated by a frangible bulkhead or a soft membrane, where the charges can be ignited separately (consecutively).
The discrete or continuous variable throat is a recent technology to achieve enhanced thrust modulation.
The key principle is to adjust the thrust to demand in real time by means of a variation of the throat area and consequently of the mass flow which is directly linked to the thrust.
A future version of the continuous variable throat will be used in conjunction with extinguishable propellant in order to add the possibility to stop and restart and thus vary the thrust on demand.
Different technologies for thrust vectoring have been used for decades (jetavator®, jet interceptors, jet vanes, flexible nozzles, etc.).
Recent work aims to reduce manufacturing costs, enlarge the operational temperature range, reduce mass and energy consumption, achieve larger deflection angles, replace hydraulic by electrical actuators, etc.
Divert Attitude Control Systems (DACS) are designed to perform the endgame manoeuvre of extremely high-speed missiles used to defeat high-speed threats.
Recent work has the same objectives as previously. Future versions will use advanced energetic materials, innovative temperature-resistant materials (ceramics, etc.) for valves and nozzles.
Soft vertical launch makes use of different technologies like particle-free propellant charge, hot gas valves, etc., to obtain an efficient, small, responsive, safe and reliable device that forms the initial trajectory of surface-launched missiles.
Roxel is involved in the PERSEUS study, led by the French Space Agency (CNES).
The benefits of this technology, which inherently allows thrust variation by adjusting the fuel and oxidant mass flow rates by means of an injection system, could be useful for tactical applications.
Roxel propulsion technologies can be used to design motors with optimised characteristics to meet the requirements of missile manufacturers across the entire spectrum (visible, ultra-violet and infrared).
Different propellant formulations are available to comply with the prime requirements concerning the solid rocket motor plume by seeking to reduce or eliminate primary and secondary smoke.
In addition, Roxel is able to adjust the design and select the most appropriate inert materials in order to obtain the stealthiest solution.
Insensitive Munitions (IM) are munitions for which, in the event of physical or mechanical aggressions, the probability of untimely initiation as well as the violence of the reaction and the resulting collateral damages have been reduced. While being safer, IM continue to satisfy performance, availability and employment conditions.
Roxel has a world lead in IM technology and is active in developing positive solutions. Roxel has a proven capability of designing systems to withstand different potential aggressions (bullet impact, cook off, fragment impact, sympathetic detonation, safety drops).
Roxel contributed to the propulsion system for the British ASRAAM missile and the boost motor system for the Seawolf. Both missiles have been put into service. The ASRAAM rocket motor has the highest IM rating for any missile.
Roxel is a member of IMEMG (Insensitive Munitions European Manufacturers Group) and Roxel UK is a member of the MoD’s Joint IM Strategy Group.
Every year, Roxel makes significant investments in innovations for solid rocket motor technologies and in production processes for motors and subassemblies, under an EN9100-certified internal innovation process (collection and evaluation of new ideas, supervision and evaluation of projects).
This work is carried out internally and with numerous partners: SMEs (NIMITECH, etc.), research bodies (CNRS, universities, ONERA, QINETIQ) and major groups (MBDA, ArianeGroup, Nexter, Airbus, etc.).
Part of this work is carried out under the Franco-British Materials and Components for Missiles Innovation and Technology Partnership (MCM ITP), for lower Technology Readiness Levels (TRLs), as well as under upstream study programmes financed by the French defence procurement agency (DGA) and the UK Weapons Science and Technology Centre.
Roxel is also involved in civil aeronautics, e.g. through its participation in an initiative under the French CORAC aerospace research programme in which Roxel, in partnership with NIMITECH, is developing an engine pylon heat exchanger shroud built from an innovative composite material.
Roxel places a special focus on corporate social responsibility. It has launched a specific action plan in the social, environmental and economic domains. For Roxel, being socially responsible does not just mean fulfilling applicable legal obligations, but also going further in its relations with stakeholders.
Movements of military goods and dual-use items are subject to a range of national and international regulations.
These are designed to ensure that technologies intended for peacekeeping and national and international security are not used by countries, entities or individuals subject to economic sanctions and are not integrated into prohibited systems.
In this respect, Roxel has established the highest standards of compliance with national and international regulations and reports on all its activities to the appropriate authorities.
Roxel is committed to a pro-active strategy to prevent and manage competitive risks by establishing a compliance programme aimed at preventing breaches of competition laws and raising employee awareness.
Roxel is fully conscious of the impact and the importance of its activities and has committed to a pro-active process against corruption and associated practices. All Roxel employees and stakeholders must promote and work for the fight against corruption and associated practices and adopt the following minimum standards of behaviour: legality, honesty, trust, performance, transparency, openness, integrity and responsibility.
These are not just words; these are our standards. In this respect, Roxel proposes to all stakeholders and employees the right to submit an alert, conducts risk mapping for corruption and associated practices, makes every effort to ensure that stakeholders are not suspected of corruption, and maintains close control of gifts and hospitalities, conflicts of interest, the use of commercial agents and all charitable activities.
Lobbying activities are controlled and political contributions and facilitation payments are prohibited. All stakeholders, including commercial agents, must comply with Roxel standards or face immediate disciplinary sanctions.
To ensure that these standards are widely disseminated, regular awareness sessions are organised for Roxel employees, along with information for stakeholders.
In conducting business, Roxel may be required to collect and process personal data.
In this respect, Roxel is committed to satisfying applicable regulations and the highest standards of compliance to ensure the security, lawfulness, legitimacy and fairness of data collection and processing and to guarantee the respect of the basic rights and freedoms of the people concerned.
To guarantee the production of sustainable solutions, Roxel relies on a collaborative approach with its suppliers aimed at developing and reinforcing synergies. This is part of Roxel’s procurement policy with respect to its suppliers:
• Fair treatment
• Development of relations built on trust that are fair and mutually beneficial
• Detection and support of innovations today that will be the technologies of tomorrow
Roxel is committed to an ambitious code of ethics and compliance and corporate social responsibility and expects its suppliers to do likewise so that, together, we can create a sustainable future.
To support its suppliers in this process, Roxel offers a guide containing the principles of the responsible supplier.
Roxel, a leader in tactical propulsion, supplies products intended for national and international defence of peace and security. This activity must be pursued in an ethical and responsible manner. In this respect, Roxel has committed to an ambitious and ethical code of conduct to ensure compliance with applicable regulations and rules for business practices.
Furthermore, Roxel management has sought to establish the most stringent compliance standards based on the principles of legality, honesty, trust, performance, transparency, openness, integrity and responsibility.
We have not, do not and will not compromise on these standards due to our zero tolerance policy that calls for immediate disciplinary sanctions against our stakeholders and employees. Ethics and compliance are part of Roxel’s identity.
To support the continuing strict application of our standards, we have established a Group Business Ethic Committee to monitor the application of our code of ethics and our full set of compliance programmes, to establish a schedule on these subjects, to assess Roxel’s performance with respect to these standards and, if necessary, to implement improvement plans, including an update or the implementation of new dedicated procedures.
This committee includes all members of the Group Executive Committee and reports directly to me. Roxel shareholders are informed about these standards and their implementation.
Furthermore, the success of our standards is ensured by dedicated operational organisation comprising a Group Chief Compliance Officer (a member of the Executive Committee) and local compliance officers.
Compliance officers are in charge of setting the priorities established by the Business Ethic Committee and myself, validated by our shareholders. They also make sure that our procedures are applied at all times and in all places. These procedures cover: risk mapping, management of whistle-blowering, performance of stakeholder verification actions. They have a key role: operational decision-making depends on them.
The compliance officers network is also responsible for employee’s awareness-raising in close coordination with human resources and depending on the category of employee for which the awareness session is adapted. I have also launched an effort to raise stakeholder awareness by preparing a supplier code of conduct and by establishing anti-corruption standards applicable to all Roxel stakeholders.
The success of these standards is also due to an in-house culture of ethics and compliance supported by regular awareness-raising, integration of these standards and procedures into the quality management system accessible to all employees and the possibility of reporting any violation of these standards under the whistleblowering accessible to all employees and stakeholders.
The whistleblowering is supported by the following guarantee: whistle-blower protection; presumption of innocence of the accused person; confidential, impartial investigation; and the accused person’s right to defend themselves.
We have also identified the need for compliance programmes dedicated to specific, complex regulations. In this respect, I have decided to divide our ethics policy into specific compliance programmes:
• Corporate social responsibility
• Anti-corruption compliance programme
• Export/import control and international economic sanctions compliance programme
• Personal data collection and processing compliance programme
• Competition law compliance programme
The respect of our ethics policy and compliance programmes involves all our employees and stakeholders who are responsible for ensuring that they are respected and promoted. This is the best way to achieve excellence in our performance.