EUROSAM was established in June 1989 by three major European aerospace companies (Aerospatiale, Alenia and Thomson-CSF) known today as MBDA Missile Systems and THALES.

EUROSAM is the industrial prime contractor and system design authority for the development, production, marketing and sales of a range of medium and long range naval and ground-launched air-defence missile systems also known as Famille de missiles Sol-Air Futurs (FSAF), or Future Surface-to-Air Family of missile systems.

These systems were developed under contract from the French and Italian Governments, who in the late 1980s had come to similar conclusions as to their air-defence operational requirements. These called for naval and ground-launched missiles capable of defeating threats as diverse as high-speed tactical missiles (supersonic sea skimmers, air-launched, anti-radiation, cruise, TBM and other types) and highly-manoeuvering aircraft, in a saturation attack scenario. The key capability of these systems is their capability of, simultaneously, engaging multiple targets, in any type combination, over 360 degrees.

France and Italy agreed to develop a missile systems family, whose costs they shared on a 50-50 basis:

  • The naval systems (Surface-to-Air Anti-Missile systems) SAAM and SAAM AD/PAAMS), for protection of naval ships, using the Aster 15 and Aster 30 missiles guided by the Arabel or Empar radars.
  • The ground-launched Sol-Air Moyenne Portée (SAMP-T, or Land SAAM AD), using the longer-range Aster 30 missile guided by the Arabel radar, with which both France and Italy replace their Hawk air-defence missiles. French Air Force also resurrected a long range capability lost with the demise of its Nike systems.

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