On Tuesday, May 20 the latest joint French-Italian firing of the SAMP/T Mamba surface-to-air weapon system was carried out at the DGA missile test range at Biscarosse, in south-western France. This was the first operational firing by the French air force’s 5/590 “Barrois” Air Defense Squadron, stationed at Saint Dizier, in north-eastern France.
It is notable that this firing was carried out as part of an air-defense firing campaign which demonstrated the interconnection of various air-defense networks operated by the French air force, the French army and the Italian armed forces.
Specifically, this campaign involved French air force Mamba missiles from Saint Dizier and Mont de Marsan, French air force Crotale SHORADS batteries, Mistral MANPADS from the French army’s 3rd Artillery Regiment and an Italian SAMP/T section, all of which were connected to, and monitored by, the French 3D Defense Management Center (CMD3D).
An E-3F AWACS aircraft took part in one scenario, transmitting its tactical situation report by Link 16 to the CMD3D, which was itself connected by datalink (Link 11, Link 16 or PR4G tactical radio) to the various weapon systems as well as to the air-defense control centers at Lyon and Mont de Marsan.
The CMD3D was thus able to control and coordinate the engagement of all the weapon systems, thereby demonstrating its interconnection capabilities as well as its inter-service and allied interoperability.