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.