France and Italy Signs Contract to Develop SAMP/T NG (New Generation) Air Defence System

According to a press release published on March 19, 2021, the Franco-Italian consortium, Eurosam has signed a contract with the European Organisation for Joint Armament Co-operation to develop the next generation SAMP/T NG (New Generation) Air Defence System (ADS). The contract signed at OCCAR (Organisation for Joint Armament Co-operation) premises in France in the presence of the French Air and Space Force staff, the Italian Army staff, the OCCAR Director and National representatives of the French Armament General Directorate (DGA) and of the Italian Armament Directorate (SGD). This contract complements the first contract signed in 2016 with the objective to enhance the SAMP/T systems operational in the French Air and Space Force and the Italian Army.

Eurosam GIE is a European manufacturer of anti-air missiles. Eurosam was established in June 1989 for the development of the Famille de missiles Sol-Air Futurs (Future Surface-to-Air Family of missiles or FSAF). Eurosam was initially a joint venture between Aérospatiale, Alenia and Thomson-CSF. Now Aérospatiale is a part of MBDA (more precisely of the French branch of MBDA), and Missile and Missile Systems activities of Alenia are now the Italian branch of MBDA. Thomson CSF is now the Thales Group. Thus Eurosam is owned by MBDA France and Italy (66%) and Thales Group (33%). As originally envisaged under the contract for Phase 1 the FSAF involved the use of the Aster 15 and Aster 30 missiles.

Eurosam SAMP/T Air Defence System (ADS) contract signing

Aster 30 has been successfully incorporated into a land based SAM system, fulfilling the “Ground-based area defence” mission requirement. It comes in the form of the Eurosam SAMP/T (Surface-to-Air Missile Platform/Terrain). The system uses a network of sophisticated radars and sensors – including 3D phased array radar – enabling it to be highly effective against all types of air threats. SAMP/T uses an upgraded version of the Arabel long range radar, with improved performance developed under the Aster 30 block 1 upgrade program, in order to extend the system’s capability against higher speed targets and higher altitude targets. The system can intercept missiles with a 600 km range (short range ballistic missile targets).

The SAMP/T NG (New Generation) will use the ASTER Block 1 NT (new technology), an enhanced missile to enlarge the ASTER family, fitted with a new seeker and a new computer able to face the new emerging threats. Provide a 360-degree protection to armed forces and sensitive civil or military sites. The new air defense systems will also include, an upgraded launcher featuring new electronic equipment, a new multifunction rotating Active Electronically Scanned Array radar, and a command and control module based on upgraded open command and control software architecture and enhanced connectivity. It will be able to counter emerging and future threats as diverse as maneuvering ballistic missiles, re-entry vehicle ballistic missiles, high-speed tactical missiles, UAVs and highly maneuvering aircraft.

Ceremony at Luxeuil air base, in north-eastern France, marking the delivery of the SAMP/T medium-range air-defense missiles to the first operational French air force squadron to operate the system, which is called Mamba in French service.