Italian Army SAMP/T Aster 30 Air Defense System
Italian Army SAMP/T Aster 30 Air Defense System

France and Italy Order 700 Aster Missiles to Modernize SAMP/T Air-Defense Systems

The OCCAR-EA Director Matteo Bisceglia and the Managing Director of Eurosam Eva Bruxmeier signed the contract for the production of ASTER 30 B1 New Technology, ASTER 30 B1 and ASTER 15 medium range air defence missiles. This contract concerns especially the procurement of the new version of ASTER 30 B1 NT to deal with future aerial threats more speedy and manoeuvrable. The contract was signed on behalf of the Direction Générale de l’Armement (DGA) for France and SEGREDIFESA for Italy for the benefit of 5 forces: French Air Force, French Navy, Italian Army, Italian Navy and a new end-user Italian Air Force. With these contracts, OCCAR will provide to the 3 Nations a renewed capacity of Medium Range Air-Defence, contributing at the same time to the European Air Defence system.

This new missile will equip SAMP/T NG of French Air Force, Italian Army and Italian Air Force and HORIZON frigates of the Italian Navy. In addition, this contract takes into account the production of new ASTER 30 B1 for SAMP/T NG for Italian Air Force and new ASTER 30 and ASTER 15 for French and Italian Navy. This complex contract negotiated by OCCAR reached to a conclusion thanks to a strong involvement of EUROSAM and MBDA, as European missile industrial reference, and great cooperation of Nations. With this new contract, OCCAR reinforces the European missile industry supported by MBDA and by major European defense company. This new contract comes in addition to the contract of the Mid-Life Update of the current ASTER stockpile of France, Italy and United-Kingdom placed in 2020 and 2021.

OCCAR signs contract to launch global production of ASTER missiles including the new ASTER 30 B1NT
OCCAR signs contract to launch global production of ASTER missiles including the new ASTER 30 B1NT. (Photo by OCCR)

The Aster 15 and Aster 30 are a Franco-Italian family of all-weather, vertical launch surface-to-air missiles. The name “Aster” stands for “Aérospatiale Terminale” (French company Aérospatiale having been the project’s lead contractor before its missile activities were merged into MBDA). It also takes inspiration from the word “Aster”, meaning “star” in Ancient Greek. The missiles as well as the related weapon systems are manufactured by Eurosam, a consortium consisting of MBDA France, MBDA Italy (both with a combined 66% share) and Thales (holding 33%). The Aster missiles were developed to intercept and destroy the full spectrum of air threats from high-performance combat aircraft, UAVs and helicopters to cruise, anti-radiation and even sea-skimming supersonic anti-ship missiles. In addition, the Aster 30 Block 1 and Block 1 NT were designed to counter ballistic missiles.

The Organisation for Joint Armament Cooperation (French: Organisation Conjointe de Coopération en matière d’ARmement; OCCAR) is a European intergovernmental organisation that facilitates and manages collaborative armament programmes through their lifecycle between the governments of Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, and the United Kingdom. Currently the European Union member states and/or NATO members Turkey, Netherlands, Luxembourg, Finland, Sweden, Lithuania and Poland participate in one or more OCCAR programmes without being formal members. Other states can participate to OCCAR programmes without becoming a member state. Currently the European Union member states and/or NATO members Turkey, Netherlands, Luxembourg, Finland, Sweden, Lithuania and Poland participate in one or more OCCAR programmes without being formal members.

French SAMP/T Missile Defence System Reinforces Battle Group Forward Presence in Romania
The SAMP/T MAMBA is the main French air defense system for theatre protection. (Photo by MBDA)

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