“Le Charles” Fires its Seventh Aster Missile

(Source: French Navy; issued Feb. 18, 2009)

AsterTirCharlesNo7AsterTirCharlesNo7 The French navy aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle completed its seventh test firing of an Aster 15 air-defense missile on Feb. 17 at sea off the Ile de Levant, in South-Eastern France. The first Aster firing from the ship took place in 2002.

The firing exercise took place in the Centre d’Essais de Lancement de Missiles Méditerranée (Mediterranean missile range, CELM).

“This firing was a complete success,” said Mr. Zoppi, a CELM spokesman.

All ships belonging to the French Naval Action Force test their weapons at the CELM before undertaking their operational missions.

In addition to the Charles, the new FREMM (Frégates Européennes Multi-Missions) multipurpose frigates will also be armed with vertically-launched Aster missiles.

The aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle is currently working up to operational readiness, an intensive training phase that follows an 18-month period during which it was docked for refit and refueling.

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(Copyright French Navy photo)