The contract to proceed with Stages 2 and 3 of the Maritime Mine Counter Measure (MMCM) Programme has been jointly announced, on 20 October, at EURONAVAL by the United Kingdom (UK) Defence Procurement Minister, Harriet Baldwin and for France by the Head of the defence procurement office (Direction Générale de l'Armement), Laurent Collet-Billon.
On 20 September 2010, with a ceremony chaired by the FR Air Force Command CoS (GCA Hugues HENDEL), the first SAMP/T section, baptized “MAMBA” by FR Air Force, was definitively put on duty. After completion of all the preparatory activities as personnel training, unit preparation/adaptation, initial in-servicing, the first SAMP/T section has been assigned to the air base 116 at Luxeuil-Saint Sauveur (East of France). This is the first of the 5 FR AF units planned to be equipped with the SAMP/T system. In the next future it is expected that the unit will participate to national and international exercises in order to be certificated “ready for operations”. The delivery of the first SAMP/T section to Italian Army is ongoing and the ATOC B1 (ATBM) campaign, which will culminate in a joint France/Italy ripple firing against a TBM target, is planned in 2012
A specific firing campaign, consisting of two single firings from IT and FR HORIZON class ships and of one salvo firing from a UK Navy platform have just been successfully completed in a very short timeframe (one month - May/June 2010). This more than positive event will re-launch the ammunition production which was suspended following some technical issues experienced in 2009, in the frame of the PAAMS qualification trials.