A new Franco-Italian air-defence system scored a direct hit on a simulated combat aircraft in an initial qualification trial on 26 July, says manufacturer MBDA.
The MBDA Aster 30 SAMP/T ground-based, medium-range system intercepted a C-22 target flying at an altitude of 23,000ft (7,000m) and at a range of 26km (14nm). It was the first test of the complete SAMP/T system, including the modules for target engagement and identification, the Aster 30 missile, the Arabel radar and the vertical launcher.
MBDA had previously staged a test firing of the Aster 30 missile on 1 June.
The SAMP/T system is scheduled to enter service with France and Italy in 2007. The system is required to be air transportable and interoperable with NATO air-defence systems.
A pre-production naval variant has already been installed on the French aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle.
Related MBDA programmes using the Aster family of missiles include the SAAM surface-to-air anti-missile system and the PAAMS principal anti-air missile system.