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ASMP-A Missile Being Integrated on FAF Mirage 2000N

ASMP-A Missile Being Integrated on FAF Mirage 2000N

MBDA to Commence Integration of the ASMP-A Air to Ground Missile on the French Air force’s Mirage 2000 N. Source: MBDA, October 6, 2003.

The French MoD (Délégation Générale pour l’Armement) has awarded MBDA with a contract to integrate the ASMPA medium range air-to-ground missile on the next generation variant of the French Air Force’s Mirage 2000 N – the Mirage 2000 N K3.

This contract follows the announcement on 28th July 2003 of the second phase of the ASMPA’s development on the Mirage 2000 NK3 and the Rafale.

For the Mirage 2000 NK3, ASMPA with its tactical nuclear warhead, will replace the current ASMP missile, in service on the Mirage 2000 N since 1988, filling the role of France’s air-launched nuclear deterrent. In due course, ASMPA will be adapted for integration on the French Air Force’s and the French Navy’s Rafale combat aircraft.

Marwan Lahoud, Chief Executive Officer of MBDA said: "We are extremely pleased with the timing of these announcements by the DGA. These are in keeping with ASMPA’s development schedule allowing the missile system to enter into operational service before the end of the decade. The ASMPA programme will enable MBDA to further its capability in advanced Ramjet technologies already acquired by France in this area."

MBDA is Europe’s leading missile systems company. With a fully comprehensive range of land-based, naval and airborne guided weapon systems, MBDA is capable of satisfying the requirements of each of the armed services.

MBDA currently has 45 missile system and countermeasure programmes in operational service and has proven its ability as prime contractor to head major multi-national projects. With an annual turnover exceeding €2 billion (US$2.3 billion), a forward order book of €14 billion (US$16 billion) and over 70 customers world wide, MBDA is a world leading, global missile systems company.

MBDA is jointly owned by BAE SYSTEMS (37.5%), EADS (37.5%) and FINMECCANICA (25%), with equal rights.

  • Some Background Information on the ASMP Programs : (Source MBDA)

ASMP : Strategic Air-to-Ground Nuclear Missile for France

Operational requirement: The airborne component of the French deterrent, the ASMP (Air-Sol Moyenne Portée), is a nuclear air-to-ground medium range missile developed by Aerospatiale Matra Missiles. The ASMP was the first supersonic cruise missile in the Western arsenal and is the first missile in the world to be powered by a state-of-the-art liquid propellant ramjet with integral solid-propellant boost motor. ASMP offers: a range of several hundred kilometres and a speed of Mach 3+ at high altitude and Mach 2+ at low altitude.

  • Characteristics of the ASMP
  • Weight .................................................: classified
  • Length..................................................: classified
  • Diameter ..............................................: 0.35 m
  • Warhead...............................................: classified (nuclear)
  • Navigation ..........................................: autonomous inertial system
  • Propulsion............................................: liquid-propellant ramjet
  • Speed ...................................................: Mach 3
  • Range...................................................: classified

Status of the programme: ASMP development started in 1978 by Aerospatiale Matra Missiles. It has been in service with the French Air Force since 1986, first on Mirage IVP, then on Mirage 2000N. It has been operational with the French Aéronavale since 1989 on upgraded Super Etendard.

ASMP-A

ASMP-A, an enhanced medium range air-to-ground nuclear missile, will be the new airborne nuclear missile for the French deterrent. Successor to the ASMP, it offers substantial changes relative to its predecessor in the areas of range, trajectories and penetration. ASMP-A is based on the ASMP's general architecture. It is propelled by a new generation liquidpropellant ramjet, with long burn time, to extend the range and enable new trajectories. This propulsion is derived from the technological spin-off of the ASLP project and the Vesta vector, under development since 1996. ASMP-A makes use of a new generation of components and navigation/guidance/control equipment (INU, computer, etc.).

Status of the programme: Milestones:

  • 1996 : pre-feasibility phase completed
  • Late 1998 : end of first feasibility/definition phase launched in December 1997.
  • December 2000 : start of the development programme (DGA contract).
  • 2008 : initial operational capability on Mirage 2000N, then on Rafale standard F3 for the French Air Force and the Navy.

Press Contact:

  • Carol Reed, Tel: + 44.207.451.60.99, Fax: 44.207.451.60.89
 

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Directeur de la publication : Joël-François Dumont
Comité de rédaction : Jacques de Lestapis, Hugues Dumont, François de Vries (Bruxelles), Hans-Ulrich Helfer (Suisse), Michael Hellerforth (Allemagne).
Comité militaire : VAE Guy Labouérie (†), GAA François Mermet (2S), CF Patrice Théry (Asie).

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