A SECOND major international order has been placed at a Bolton missiles maker in two months.

MBDA has been told by the German air force that more of their Meteor beyond visual range air-to-air weaponry is wanted.

The missiles, which have a unique ramjet propulsion system, which is said to allow them to fly further and faster, to defeat even extreme-range targets, are made at their new £50million Lostock plant.

Éric Béranger, chief executive of MBDA, said: "The Meteor programme can be considered Europe's most successful defence co-operation programme, bringing together the best technologies from six European nations to deliver a common military capability that is truly revolutionary.

"We are very pleased to receive this additional contract from the German customer as a further commitment to Meteor as the primary air dominance weapon for Eurofighter."

The deal was signed between the company and the German Federal Office of Bundeswehr Equipment, Information Technology and In-Service Support.

Last month the missiles were also the subject of a separate contract with Korean Aerospace Industries (KAI), for KF-X, the future aircraft programme being run by the East Asian nation.

Mr Béranger said then: "We're very pleased to mark this next and important step in our partnership with KAI and the Korean Defence Acquisition Program Administration.

"South Korea is a strategic market for MBDA, and we’re proud that Meteor will be providing KF-X with the world’s most potent air-to-air capability."

While most missiles glide unpowered in flight, Meteors' ramjets give more than Mach 4 thrust, enabling them to be deployed over longer distances.

The technology is already on board a number of European nations' domestic fighter aircraft, including the Swedes' Gripen, the French Dassault Rafale and the Eurofighter.