On 1 June 2005, MBDA successfully conducted a practice firing of the Aster 30 missile. This test took place at the DGA Landes Test Centre (CELM), in south-western France.
The test firing scenario was a typical example of the threat to be countered by the PAAMS (area defence) system: protection of a friendly ship (called “consort”) attacked by an anti-ship missile in skimming flight, executing a "dog leg" manoeuvre (90° high-load factor turn). The target was intercepted at 10 km with complete success.
Mr. Marwan Lahoud, CEO of MBDA, who attended the firing, declared: “after the successful salvo firing of Aster 15 missiles from the Charles De Gaulle aircraft carrier on 25 May 2005, MBDA once again demonstrated the efficiency of the Aster air defence systems which are to equip the British, Italian and French navies”.
Mr. Fabrizio Giulianini, Managing Director of MBDA Italy and Director of the multinational surface-to-air programmes, added: “This gives a clear indication of how successful the Aster family-based antimissile programmes, including the PAAMS and the SAMP/T, are bound to be.”
The Aster 30 missile is common to both the naval PAAMS system and the SAMP/T land system. This successful firing makes it possible to schedule an Aster 30 firing in SAMP/T configuration during the second half of 2005.
The Aster SAMP/T system will provide area defence for forces deployed on theatres of operations against high-speed aircraft such as aeroplanes, UCAV’s (Unmanned Combat Aerial Vehicles), cruise missiles and ballistic tactical missiles in severe ECM environments. The SAMP/T, which is air-transportable and compatible with NATO air defence systems, will be commissioned in the Italian army in 2007 and in the French army and air force in 2010.
The Aster PAAMS system was ordered by the Royal Navy and by the French and Italian navies in order to provide their units with area defence and self-defence capacities, as well as protecting neighbouring surface ships against all subsonic or supersonic threats, such as missiles, aeroplanes or drones. This system will be installed on French Horizon-class frigates, Italian Orizzonte frigates and British T45 destroyers.
PAAMS (Principal Anti-Air Missile System) is an advanced naval defence system programme under the prime contractorship of EUROPAAMS, an international Joint-venture between MBDA (75%) and Thales (25%). This programme was launched on 11 August 1999 after the signature of a contract by DGA between France, Great Britain and Italy.
With an annual turnover exceeding EUR 3 billion, a forward order book of over EUR 14 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%).