First op­er­a­tional eval­u­a­tion fir­ing of ASMPA mis­sile


The French Air Force has car­ried out the first op­er­a­tional eval­u­a­tion of its new ASMPA su­per­sonic nu­clear stand­off mis­sile placed on the cen­tre­line py­lon of a Rafale fighter. France’s strate­gic air force com­mand suc­cess­fully car­ried out the first op­er­a­tional eval­u­a­tion launch of the in­te­grated weapon sys­tem com­pris­ing a C-135 tanker, a Rafale strike air­craft, and the ASMPA nu­clear stand-off mis­sile ac­cord­ing to a sce­nario rep­re­sen­ta­tive of a real mis­sion.

The crew of the fighter, be­long­ing to the 1/91 “Gascogne” squadron, took off from Saint-Dizier air base. Dur­ing five hours, the mis­sion brought to­gether all the im­por­tant phases of flight: high al­ti­tude cruise, low al­ti­tude pen­e­tra­tion, ter­rain fol­low­ing, in-flight re­fu­elling from tanker air­craft...The C-135 tanker, be­long­ing to the 2/91 “Bre­tagne” in­flight re­fu­el­ing squadron, pro­vided the range ex­ten­sion needed for a strate­gic mis­sion. Af­ter five hours of flight, the crew launched the ASMPA, which was not fit­ted with a nu­clear war­head.

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