Another successful ASTER firing with SAMP/T

(Issued July 26th, 2005 )

On July 26th 2005, the Franco-Italian SAMP/T [1] medium-range land system successfully fired an ASTER 30 missile on the CELM Landes test site. This firing is part of the qualification tests of the SAMP/T system, which will enter into operational evaluation with the French and Italian Armed Forces in 2006.

The theme of this firing, simulating a medium-range zone defence, was the engagement of a target representative of an aircraft by the SAMP/T system and its ASTER 30 missile.

For the purpose of this firing the SAMP/T system comprised the Engagement Module, the ARABEL Radar and Identification Module, a Vertical Launch Unit and the ASTER 30 Missile.

The success of this firing bears witness to the maturity of the SAMP/T system. More particularly, all the successive phases of the engagement ran nominally:

Target detection and tracking by the ARABEL fire control system;
Target engagement decision;
Firing of the ASTER 30 missile;
Transmission by the fire control system of the updated target data each second to the missile in flight;
In-flight lock-on of the missile seeker;
Final interception of the target by direct impact 26 km from the launch unit at an altitude of 7000 metres.

This firing and the system tests performed at the CELM since the beginning of 2005 have demonstrated the exceptional performance of the SAMP/T system.

This ASTER 30 firing extends a long list of prior successes with the ASTER missile:

ASTER 30 PAAMS [2]firing of June 1st, 2005;

Firing of a salvo of two ASTER 15 missiles from the aircraft carrier Charles De Gaulle on May 25th 2005, continuing the 100% success rate of ASTER 15 naval firings since December 2001.


[1] The SAMP/T « Sol Air Moyenne Portée Terrestre » (Ground-to- Air Medium Range/Land) comprises a fire control system featuring the ARABEL Radar and Identification Module, the Engagement Module, and from 4 to 6 vertical launch units associated with the ASTER 30 missiles.

[2] The PAAMS « Principal Anti-Air Missile System » comprises a fire control system featuring the EMPAR radar and the SYLVER vertical launch units associated with the ASTER 15 & ASTER 30 missiles.