Two Aster launches, carried out successfully from the Italian carrier Cavour on 18th and 19th May 2011, confirm the effectiveness of the System SAAM-IT,the anti-aircraft defence self protection system, developed within the FSAF systems family.
During the first week of August the Grizzlies reached 500 flying hours, comprising almost 150 flights since the first flight of MSN (Manufacturer’s Serial Number) 001 past 11 December 2009. MSN001 flew 80 times, MSN002 flew 56 and MSN003, with the first flight being held past 09 July, already flew 11 times. During this time, the Grizzlies have participated with great success in the Berlin ILA Show (MSN001) and in Farnborough International Airshow (MSN002) where a formal naming ceremony was also held. The three first prototypes are in flight, with the forth aircraft being assembled in Seville, planning for its first flight at the end of the year. The plan includes five prototypes for test activities. Two crews from Nations have already participated in test flights.
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.