The Italian Army has successfully conducted two test firings of its Aster 30 missile as part of the operational evaluation of the SAMP/T air defence missile system. Both trials were declared as ‘total success’ with the complete range of test objectives achieved. The test series was conducted as part of the Acceptance Test of Operational Capabilities (ATOC) that the Italian Army and the French Army and Air Force are conducting throughout 2008.
The first test was conducted on 22nd May 2008 where the Aster 30 missile was launched against a Mirach 100 aerial target flying at low altitude at approximately 150 metres. The system correctly tracked the target at a range of 25 km from the battery and intercepted it target within 15 km over the test range waters. Four days later, the second test challenged the missile with a more complex scenario, including a patrol of two Mirach 100 targets flying towards the SAMP/T system Flying Control Unit. Under the scenario, the system tracked the patrol, correctly identified the selected “attacking” target and intercepted it at 21km during its evasive manoeuvre.
The two firings were carried out by the army at the PISQ (Poligono Interforze Salto di Quirra) joint armed forces test range in Sardinia. For both firings, the full operational configuration of the SAMP/T weapon system was tested entirely autonomously by the Italian army unit. The system included an additional Command Module to manage the system deployment and the links with the upper defence network.
SAMP/T, a land-based air defence system, incorporates the MBDA ASTER 30 missile, designed to protect land forces and sensitive sites and zones from conventional threats such as aircraft, UAV’s, helicopters and the new generation of stand-off missiles and short range ballistic missiles.