Picture: French Air Force SAMP/T (Armée de l’Air)
22.03.2013by Guillaume Belan (FOB)
The Italian Army and French Air Force carried out early March a successful interception of a ballistic missile target. The recent test of the European missile defence system SAMP/T, made by MBDA, employed NATO standard communications environment for the first time. This 6 March test was integrated within the NATO Ballistic Missile Defence Operations Centre (BMDOC) at Ramstein, Germany. The missile was the Aster 30 which scored a direct hit on the target. The target, an Israeli Black Sparrow missile was launched by an Israeli F-15 from the Atlantic ocean on a ballistic trajectory about 300 km from the land. The test campaign began in 2005 and the system is operational since 2008. The test represents another milestone for the SAMP/T system, now capable to counter a ballistic missile under NATO’s future missile defence architecture. This test has been realised in France at the DGA (French procurement agency) missile test center in Biscarrosse, jointly realised by the fourth artillery regiment of Mantoue (Italy) and the French Military air testing center (centre d’expériences aériennes militaires – CEAM) of Mont-de-Marsan. It required important means form the French DGA and NATO. SAMP/T based on the Aster 30 missile has thus accomplished an important step in the french-italian contribution for the NATO programme of force protection against a ballistic missile threat.