Aster 15 Launch: FREMM Frigate Bretagne Intercepts Supersonic Target
(Source: French Navy, issued May 16, 2019)
(Unofficial translation by
Barely three months after joining the fleet, the French Navy’s FREMM frigate Bretagne launched its first Aster 15 air-defense missile during the Formidable Shield exercise off the western coast of Scotland. (French Navy photo)
On May 12, 2019, the multi-mission frigate (FREMM) Bretagne successfully intercepted a supersonic target flying at over Mach 2 during an allied fire campaign using its radar-based Combat Management System (Naval Group), consisting of Herakles radar (Thales) and the Aster 15 anti-air missile (MBDA).

Less than three months after her admission to active duty, it was Bretagne's first Aster 15 launch. It was carried out during Exercise Formidable Shield 2019, which involves ships from nine allied navies, including two French frigates of the last generation: the Aquitaine and the Bretagne. Formidable Shield 2019 is an exercise designed to test participating countries' weapons systems against the latest threats, notably supersonic and ballistic missiles.

The attacking supersonic target was destroyed in a few seconds by the Aster 15, after a nominal launch sequence perfectly executed by the crew. This result confirms the versatility and outstanding performance of the FREMM in all combat areas.

This success rewarded the investment and remarkable work of the crew who had been preparing for it for several months.

Under the leadership of the Chief of the Naval Staff and with the constant support of the DGA, the French Navy is developing a high level of interoperability and integration with its allies, as a permanent member of the Maritime Theater Missile Defense (MTMD) forum.

The participation of French naval units in this type of exercise will continue in the future, in order to maintain our engagement capabilities at the highest level against the toughest threats.

The FREMM frigates' air self-defense is based on the Aster 15 missile that can be fired at 360° around its launcher. It can reach its target out to a distance of about 30 kilometers, at a speed of MACH 3, or 3,700 kph.

It can destroy supersonic fighters and anti-ship missiles in level flight on while diving.


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