Eurosam SAMP/T scores again


Re­cently, the SAMP/T sys­tem scored a new success. A joint team of French and Ital­ian crew op­er­at­ing two French Air Force SAMP/T units con­ducted a test fire against a bal­lis­tic threat.

This was the third time that SAMP/T pro­ceeded to a test fir­ing against such type of threat, the sec­ond time by an op­er­a­tional crew. The test took place in CELM (South West of France), the DGA fir­ing poly­gon. Like the pre­vi­ous ATBM fir­ings, in Oc­to­ber 2010 and Novem­ber 2011, the tar­get, air launched, was rep­re­sen­ta­tive of a 300 km range TBM threat.

The dif­fer­ences with the pre­vi­ous ATBM in­ter­cept were sig­nif­i­cant, though. This fir­ing was a pre­miere in sev­eral ways. On the one hand it was the first SAMP/T fir­ing us­ing L16 for data links with the higher ech­e­lons. On the other hand, while the pre­vi­ous two ATBM tests were con­ducted in a French spe­cific en­vi­ron­ment, wholly con­trolled by DGA and French Air Force, this lat­est one can be called the first SAMP/T fir­ing test in a NATO en­vi­ron­ment, close to what would be an op­er­a­tional use for an ATBM mis­sion un­der the aegis of the al­liance ALTBMD pro­gramme.

NATO BMDOC, lo­cated in Ram­stein, was in the loop via L16 net­work. Last but not least, though the ground equip­ment was pro­vided by French Air Force, the crew was a mix of Ital­ian Army and French Air Force per­son­nel, a to­ken of the long last­ing co­op­er­a­tion be­tween the two na­tions in de­vel­op­ing, build­ing, test­ing and field­ing SAMP/T.

SAMP/T is the only non-US built lon­grange air de­fense sys­tem con­tribut­ing to the NATO Al­liance ca­pa­bil­ity against bal­lis­tic threats. French and Ital­ian gov­ern­ments have com­mit­ted to con­trib­ute to NATO ATBM de­fence with SAMP/T sys­tems. NATO, Ital­ian and French high-level rep­re­sen­ta­tives wit­nessed the test in CELM, as well as NATO per­son­nel in Ram­stein, thanks to the L16 data ex­change.

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