Self-defence system achieves successful firing on board aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle

On 30 October, 2002 Aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle achieved successful operational firing of its SAAM/FR antimissile self-defence system.

The SAAM/FR system qualification run was completed in October 2001, and at that date the system ­ which was already installed on the aircraft carrier ­ had been declared as « firing capable ».

The subject of the firing operation of 30 October, 2002 was representative of a medium range interception of an antiship missile flying at a low altitude. The target was intercepted by direct impact. According to the results of the tests, all the objectives were fulfilled.

All of the system’s components contributed to the firing operation. The firing control function that uses the ARABEL radar detected the target and controlled the engagement with an ASTER 15 missile that was launched from the vertical launch SYLVER module.

The direct impact on target further evidences the high agility of the terminal missile in the final play. Activation of the Thrust Vector Control (PIF) system induced the last trajectory corrections, allowing the target to be destroyed again by direct impact.

The SAAM/FR system (anti-missile, anti-air self-defence system) was also retained to equip the SAWARI 2 frigates.

Along the SAAM/FR system, EUROSAM also develops a whole family of naval and land systems to meet the requirements of different missions against new-generation threats:

– the SAAM in Italian configuration is undergoing qualification; aircraft carrier Nuova Unita Maggiore  » Andrea Doria  » will be the first vessel to be equipped. The second qualification firing was carried out at the CEM (Centre d’Essais de la Méditerranée) in Toulon on 5 June, 2002.
– The PAAMS (Principal Anti-Air Missile System) that will be installed on the Horizon frigates offers the same self-defence capabilities and will also be used for area defence. The system will benefit from the validations of the SAAM systems, and qualification is scheduled for 2004/2005.
– The SAMP/T ­ the land component of the F.S.A.F. family ­ is a theatre antimissile system designed to protect projection forces, as well as sensitive sites (airports, harbours, etc.) against all existing and future threats (cruise missiles, manned or unmanned aircraft and tactical ballistic missiles of the 600 km class). The qualification run was started in Italy in early October 2002.

EUROSAM was created by companies which are now called MBDA Missiles Systems and THALES, to sell and act as prime contractor for the systems of the FSAF family. (ends)