The French Navy (Marine Nationale) announced that its Forbin (D620) Air Defense Frigate intercepted a GQM-163A Coyote Sea Skimming Target Vehicle during Exercise At-Sea Demo/Formidable Shield 2021 using an MBDA Aster 30 surface to air missile. Her first task is protecting aircraft carriers, capital ships or civilian ships from supersonic missile attacks; her complement of medium-range anti-air missiles allows her to support the defences of another ship under attack and avoid their saturation.
Forbin (D620) is a large anti-air frigate of the French Navy, lead ship of the Horizon class. . She is also capable of monitoring and controlling operations carried out from the sea by friendly aircraft. Forbin is the sixth vessel of the French Navy named after the 17th century admiral Claude Forbin-Gardanne. Construction of Forbin began in Lorient on 8 April 2002. The hull was built in 14 sections by a variety of subcontractors of DCN, including several companies from Saint-Nazaire. Each section was 7 metres (23 ft) high, and 16–20 metres (52–66 ft) long.
The Aster missile series are a family of Franco-Italian vertically launched surface-to-air missiles. The name “Aster” stands for ” Aérospatiale Terminale ” (French company Aérospatiale being the original lead contractor before becoming MBDA) and from the mythical Greek archer named Asterion. The Aster missile family comprises Aster 15 for short to medium range and the Aster 30 for short to long range. While both missiles have a maximum speed of Mach 3, Aster 15 has a range “in excess of 30 km” while Aster 30 range is “in excess of 100 km”.
At-Sea Demo/Formidable Shield is a U.S. Sixth Fleet-led exercise, conducted by Naval Striking and Support Forces NATO (STRIKFORNATO), in which NATO Allies are the participants. There will be 15 ships, more than 10 aircraft, and approximately 3,300 personnel participating this year. Exercise At-Sea Demo/Formidable Shield receives support from U.S. European Command, Missile Defense Agency, the Maritime Theater Missile Defense Forum (MTMD-F), and Program Executive Office for Integrated Warfare Systems (PEO-IWS).