The missile test division of the DGA (French Defence Procurement Agency) carried out a complex test firing of the Aster 30 air defence missile on behalf of the French Navy at its Levant test centre. The firing scenario of the Aster 30 training missile launched from the Chevalier Paul air defence frigate involved an air target pursuing a friendly aircraft. The purpose of the test was to prove Aster 30’s ability to discriminate and intercept when dealing with two interlinked radar tracks.
This elaborate scenario, created for the French Navy in cooperation with DGA Naval Technology and DGA Information Management, and using an instrumented training missile, allowed technical data to be collected giving precise details of the missile’s final interception phase.
In addition to the main priority which was the safety of both personnel and property within a complex scenario that put three fast moving objects in flight, one of which was a missile fitted with measuring instrumentation, the challenge met by the DGA was to have two Mirach targets flying in close proximity to each other.
The firing demonstrated the excellent qualities of the PAAMS system and its Aster missile in complex situations, notably under the conditions where friend and foe are in close proximity. It is one of the few systems currently in service in the world capable of such a performance.
The PAAMS system, developed in cooperation between France, Italy and the UK, comprises a multi-functional radar, a surveillance radar, Aster 15 and Aster 30 missiles, a vertical launch system and a command and control system. PAAMS provides self, local and fleet area defence.