France Launches Aster Block 1 NT Programme

Issue 67

The French Ministry of Defence has launched the Aster Block 1 NT (New Technology) programme aimed at modernising the SAMP/T ground based air defence system as well as its associated Aster missile (*). The contract was notified by the French DGA (Direction Générale de l’Armement) to the EUROSAM consortium involving MBDA and Thales on 23rd December 2015.

This contract provides for the development of a new version of the Aster 30 Block 1 missile, referred to as Aster B1 NT with first deliveries to the French Air Force being expected in 2023. It also covers the modernization of the current SAMP/T system to provide enhanced capabilities particularly against ballistic missiles. These evolutions will enable SAMP/T to further enhance its contribution towards NATO’s anti-ballistic missile defence programme.