On behalf of France, Italy and the United Kingdom governments, OCCAR (The Organisation for Joint Armament Co-operation) has notified a New In Service Support (N-ISS) contract with the Franco-Italian consortium, Eurosam, which is co-owned by MBDA and Thales.
It replaces the first ISS contract that has been in place since July 2012. This contract has been a premiere in a major multinational armament program: OCCAR and Eurosam have collaborated to create a support community that is operationally compliant with the requirements of the three nations and five end users (armies, navies, air force).
The N-ISS contract – which runs for five years from 2 January 2018 – will include in-service support for French and Italian land and naval systems (SAAM-Fr, SAAM-It, PAAMS and SAMP/T) as well as all ASTER missiles (ASTER 15, ASTER 30 and ASTER 30 Block 1) from France, Italy and the United Kingdom.
The new contract represents a major upgrade from its predecessor and includes not only focused improvements (introduction of repair packages and simplified management) but also cost-efficient, long-term and tailored life cycle continuity support (anticipating major overhauls and addressing long-term obsolescence).
The new five-year contract enables the three nations, OCCAR and industry to make common contractual analyses via periodic reviews, which incorporate any potential changes to nation specifications beyond the performance of logistics and support activities.
Speaking during the contract signing ceremony, Abdoulaye Samba, Eurosam managing director, commented: “Over the past years, Eurosam systems, whether SAAM, PAAMS or SAMP/T, have protected our home nations forces all over the world, contributing to their freedom of action and our nations influence. We are proud to have been at their side for all this time, making all efforts to keep their operational availability at the highest level.
“I take the renewing of our in-service support contract as a strong show of confidence from our home customers in the benefits of working in co-operation together with OCCAR and Eurosam. This is of special significance at a time when 25 European nations have decided to join forces for improving their military capabilities and strategic autonomy into the Permanent Structured Co-operation. “
Eurosam was established in June 1989 as a joint venture of MBDA 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 Future Surface-to-Air Family of ASTER 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.