20. May 2014
First operational joint SAMP/T firing at Biscarrosse firing range
The first joint French-Italian “operational” SAMP/T firing took place successfully at Biscarrosse on the 20th May 2014. Firing sections from both France and Italy were used concurrently and fully integrated in the French Air Defence command chain, and all the missiles successfully hit their designated targets.
The French Air Force Ground Based Air Defence squadron 05.950 “BARROIS” and the 4° Reggimento Artiglieria Controaerei "PESCHIERA" personnel jointly performed an assignment initiated a few months ago by their respective directing staffs and the firing concluded one week of onsite preliminary preparation work. This demonstration of cooperative working, with the utilisation of the same equipment (with the exception of some minor national variances) by two operational services, clearly highlights the ease of cross fertilisation of equipments and skills.
The firing is a positive first step to further cooperation between France & Italy with OCCAR FSAF – PAAMS Programme Division personnel involved in facilitating the co-operation through a “Service Level Agreement”. The benefit of this type of agreement is that it enables the Italian Army to actively participate in joint firing campaigns, thus sharing the skills of its personnel with the French Air Force weapon system operators and engineers. The exercise is a real example of allied co-operation, with clear positive results demonstrated by the firing successes.