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.
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.