Italian Navy Successfully Concludes Aspide / Albatros System Firing Campaign
(Source: MBDA; issued July 19, 2007)
The Italian Navy has successfully concluded its live firing campaign of the Aspide missile launched from the naval surface-to-air Albatros system. Comprising five live firings carried out at sea at the Joint Firing Test Range of Salto di Quirra (PISQ) in Sardinia, Italy, the firing campaign was conducted as an ongoing training exercise for the crews on board ships of the Italian Navy.

All five missiles were fired from the updated version of the Albatros system onboard five different ships: the frigates FFG Grecale, Espero and Aviere, the destroyer DDG Durand de La Penne and the aircraft carrier CG Garibaldi. In each case the target was a MIRACH 100/5 drone flying at altitudes ranging from between 50 and 3500 meters and at a speed of 180 m/sec. Engagement distances were between 12 and 20 km with intercept ranges between 8.5 and 12.5 km. Each one of the missiles launched registered the required miss distance from the target.

All onboard firing activities were carried out by the Italian Navy. PISQ tele-recorded the activities and collected all the relevant flight information, such as radar/optical trajectography, according to its standard procedures.

This exercise has been recognised as a total success and concludes the customer’s operational evaluation of Albatros, confirming the system’s capability to carry out challenging firing profiles, including attack by UAVs even when flying at very low altitude and/or performing evasive manoeuvres.

Fabrizio Giulianini, MD/GM of MBDA Italia, said: “This recent live firing campaign with the Aspide missile and its updated Albatros naval air defence system confirms the status of the Aspide family of systems as one of the most reliable AAW (Anti-Air Weapon) systems in the world. Aspide has now registered a success rate of more than 95% during more than 650 launches carried out to date. We expect several contracts to be placed for the advanced Aspide missile and its associated naval and ground systems”.

More than 5,000 Aspide/Aspide 2000 missiles have been produced and sold to over 20 countries around the world, establishing the missile as a benchmark in its sector.

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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