Successful First Qualification Firing of MBDA’s Aster 30 SAMP/T System

(Issued July 27, 2005 )

On 26th July 2005, the first qualification firing of the Franco-Italian Aster 30 SAMP/T ground-based, medium range air defence system took place at the Landais test range belonging to the French DGA’s (Délégation Générale pour l’Armement) CELM (Centre d’Essais de Lancement de Missiles) missile testing facility.

This qualification firing marks the first ever combined use of all the SAMP/T’s system elements: the target engagement module, the ARABEL radar and target identification module, the vertical launcher and the Aster 30 munition.

The firing scenario was set up to demonstrate the capacity of the SAMP/T system to intercept a threat posed by a combat aircraft, in this case simulated by a C-22 target flying at an altitude of 7,000 metres.

The firing was an unqualified success, with all test objectives achieved:

–Target acquisition and tracking by the ARABEL radar
–Target engagement by the fire control unit
–Munition firing
–Updating of target coordinates to the missile in flight
–In-flight target lock-on by the Aster 30 munition’s seeker
–Interception of the target at a range of 26 km and an altitude of 7,000 metres.

Beyond these objectives, Aster 30 made a direct hit on the target, which further demonstrates the extreme precision of this ammunition.

Today’s firing follows on from the recent Aster 30 munition test firing which took place earlier this year on 1st June.

Marwan Lahoud, MBDA’s Chief Executive Officer said: “After the recent successes registered by the SAAM (Surface to Air Anti-Missile System) and PAAMS (Principle Anti-Air Missile System) naval systems, this latest success demonstrates the performance of the land-based system, SAMP/T. MBDA is at the heart of this success and I am delighted with this latest achievement which once again demonstrates MBDA’s unique potential in Europe with regard to the air defence sector.”

Fabrizio Giulianini, Managing Director of MBDA Italia and Director of multi-national surface-to-air programmes added: “The total success of this system qualification firing is something that MBDA takes immense pride in. In this respect I extend my personal congratulations to all the team members involved in the Aster programme.”

BACKGROUND NOTES:  

The ASTER SAMP/T system will provide zone defence for deployed forces in theatre against high-speed air threats such as combat aircraft, UCAVs (Unmanned Combat Air Vehicles), cruise missiles and tactical ballistic missiles even in conditions of extreme electronic countermeasures.

Transportable by air and interoperable with NATO air defence systems, SAMP/T will enter service with the ground forces of France and Italy in 2007.

With an annual turnover exceeding EUR 3 billion, a forward order book of over EUR 13 billion and over 70 customers world wide, MBDA is a world leading, global missile systems company. MBDA currently has 45 missile system and countermeasure programmes in operational service and has proven its ability as prime contractor to head major multi-national projects.

MBDA is jointly owned by BAE Systems (37.5%), EADS (37.5%) and Finmeccanica (25%).

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