OCCAR has contracted Eurosam (the MBDA/Thales consortium) for the development of the SAMP/T NG (new generation) long-range air defence missile system, the consortium announced on 19 March.

The new contract aims to enhance the existing SAMP/T systems, which have entered French Air and Space Force and Italian Army service since the initial 2016 contract. The upgrade consists of:

• An enhanced missile to enlarge the ASTER family: the ASTER Block 1 NT (new technology), with a new seeker and a new computer able to confront emerging threats;

• An upgraded launcher, featuring new electronic equipment;

• A new multifunction rotating active electronically-scanned array (AESA) radar;

• A C2 module based on upgraded, open C2 software architecture and enhanced connectivity.

The SAMP/T NG is designed to provide enhanced key capabilities for the full array of ground-based air defence missions. The long-range system will be able to:

• Operate in a dense civilian air environment, in cooperation with friendly military aircraft and fully integrated into air defence networks;

• Provide 360° protection to armed forces and sensitive civil or military sites;

• Offer a dual capability to defeat all types of targets simultaneously, in any combination of types;

• Counter emerging and future threats as diverse as manoeuvring ballistic missiles, re-entry vehicle ballistic missiles, high-speed tactical missiles, UAS and rapidly manoeuvring aircraft, in a saturation attack scenario and a challenging cyber environment;

• Deploy quickly with a limited number of personnel and integrate easily in an air-defence network.

With these enhanced features, SAMP/T NG will offer the capability to guarantee airspace sovereignty, to protect national territory and population and to protect troops in operations.

An existing SAMP-T launch platform. (Photo: MBDA)

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