France and Italy to develop New Generation NG of SAMP/T air defense missile system

According to a press release published on March 19, 2021, the contract for the development of the SAMP/T NG (New Generation) air defense missile system for France and Italy has been signed today at OCCAR (Organisation for Joint Armament Co-operation) premises in France (Paris area) in the presence of the French Air and Space Force staff, the Italian Army staff, the OCCAR Director and National representatives of the French Armament General Directorate (DGA) and of the Italian Armament Directorate (SGD).
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SAMP/T air defense missile system at Paris Air Show, June 2013. (Picture source Army Recognition)

OCCAR has awarded the contract, by a delegation of DGA and SGD, to the Franco-Italian consortium Eurosam; backed by its three shareholders MBDA France, MBDA Italy and Thales. This contract complements the first contract signed in 2016 with the objective to enhance the SAMP/T systems operational in the French Air and Space Force and the Italian Army.

The SAMP/T also called MAMBA in the French army is a mobile medium-range air defense missile system designed to protect the battlefield and sensitive tactical sites (such as airports and sea ports) against all current and future airborne threats, including cruise missiles, manned and unmanned aircraft and tactical ballistic missiles in the 600 km range class.

The SAMP/T uses Aster 30 block 1 missiles which are equipped with a modified seeker, fuse, signal processing and a directional blast warhead where larger warhead fragments are directed towards the target.

The Aster 30 has the capability to intercept targets at altitudes from 50 m to 20 km. against aircraft targets flying at altitudes above 3 km, the maximum range of the Aster 30 is 100 km. At aircraft targets with altitudes below 3 km, the range of Aster 30 is 50 km.

The SAMP/T NG (New Generation) will use the ASTER Block 1 NT (new technology), an enhanced missile to enlarge the ASTER family, fitted with a new seeker and a new computer able to face the new emerging threats. the new air defense systems will also include, an upgraded launcher featuring new electronic equipment, a new multifunction rotating Active Electronically Scanned Array radar, and a command and control module based on upgraded open command and control software architecture and enhanced connectivity.

The SAMP/T NG is designed to achieve all Ground-Based Air Defense missions with enhanced key capabilities. It will be able to counter emerging and future threats as diverse as maneuvering ballistic missiles, re-entry vehicle ballistic missiles, high-speed tactical missiles, UAVs and highly maneuvering aircraft, in a saturation attack scenario and a challenging cyber environment.

The SAMP/T NG will provide 360-degree protection to armed forces and sensitive civil or military sites. and will offer a dual capability to defeat simultaneously all types of targets, in any combination of types. With these enhanced features, SAMP/T NG will provide to France, Italy and any other customer, the capability to guarantee their airspace sovereignty, to protect their territory and population and to protect their troops in operations.