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PAAMS contract signed

France, Italy and the UK have signed a £1.3 billion ($2 billion) contract for the Principal Anti Air Missile System (PAAMS), which will become the primary air defence system for the three countries' next generation warships.

The contract covers full-scale engineering and development and initial production of an entire system, including missiles, for each nation. The system will enter service on a Royal Navy Type 45 destroyer in 2007.

Key PAAMS elements include the Alenia Marconi EMPAR fire control radar for France and Italy and the British Aerospace Sampson for the UK, the Alenia Marconi/Signaal S1850Mlong-range surveillance radar, the Aerospatiale Matra Aster 15 and Aster 30 missiles and the Sylver vertical launcher system.

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