On 6th March 2013, the Italian Army and the French Air Force deployed their SAMP/T medium range air defence systems for the first time within a NATO architecture in successfully intercepting a target representative of a theatre ballistic missile. After about 300 km of ballistic flight, the target, which had been launched from an aircraft, was destroyed by the Aster 30 interceptor missile.
This technical operational evaluation firing was jointly carried out by the Italian 4th Artillery Regiment of Mantova and the French military airborne test centre (CEAM) of Mont-de-Marsan at the DGA’s Biscarosse missile test centre. The test brought into play significant elements of several DGA and NATO centres.
This success marks another step achieved in demonstrating the capabilities of the SAMP/T weapon system to counter a ballistic threat within a NATO framework. It follows on from two other successful firings carried out in October 2010 and November 2011 against the same type of threat.
The features of the SAMP/T system, called MAMBA by the French Air Force, are in particular its 360° defence coverage, its range, the agility of the missile, its modularity and its ability to deal simultaneously with all types of modern airborne targets.
In service with Italy and France, the SAMP/T system is the corner stone of these two countries’ contribution to NATO’s ALTBMD (Active Layered Tactical Ballistic Missile Defense) programme for the protection of deployed forces against ballistic threats.
Date: Mar 11, 2013