French MBDA (ex MATRA) Weapons - Machtres Fighters

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French MBDA (ex MATRA) Weapons

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Aster (surface-to-air missile family)

Aster is a family of surface-to-air missiles manufactured by Eurosam, a European consortium consisting of MBDA France, MBDA Italy (combined 66%) and the Thales Group (33%).

The Aster family was developed to perform three distinct missions:

  • Ship point defence - using Aster 15 surface-to-air anti-missile missile (SAAM) as used on the French aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle (SAAM-FR), the Italian aircraft carrier Cavour (SAAM-IT) and selected for the 27 French/Italian FREMM multipurpose frigates.

  • Ship local and area defence - Integrated Principal Anti-Air Missile System (PAAMS) using Aster 15 and 30 missiles, selected by Italian, French and British navies. PAAMS delivered by EUROPAAMS consortium, another MBDA/Thales partnership.

  • Ground-based area defence - Superficie-Aria Media Portata Terrestre (Italian for Ground-based Surface-to-Air Medium Range, SAMP/T) using batteries of Aster 30 missiles. France has demonstrated the feasibility of destroying medium range ballistic missile.












Aster 15
Short/medium range surface-air anti-aircraft and anti-missile missile
Aster 30
Long range anti-aircraft, anti-missile missile and anti-ballistic missile.


Service history

In service



Production history






310 kg (Aster 15)
510 kg (Aster 30)


4.2 m


180 mm




Directed fragmentation 

Detonation  mechanism 



Solid propellant two-stage rocket

Operational  range

1.7-30 km (Aster 15)
3-120 km (Aster 30)

Flight altitude

13 km maximum (Aster 15)
20 km (Aster 30)


Mach 3 (1000 m/s) (Aster 15)
Mach 4.5; 1,400 m/s (Aster 30)

Guidance  system

Telemetry uplink, terminal active radar homing

Launch  platform

Aster 15 :

  • France: Charles de Gaulle, Horizon class frigate, La Fayette class frigate

  • Italy: Cavour, Horizon class frigate

  • Singapore: Formidable class frigates

  • UK: Type 45 destroyer

  • Saudi Arabia: Al Riyadh class frigate (Sawari II)

Aster 30 :

  • Singapore: Formidable class frigates

  • UK: Type 45 AAW Destroyer

  • France/Italy: Horizon class frigate








The Air-Sol Moyenne Portée (ASMP; medium-range air to surface missile)

is a French air-launched nuclear missile. Part of the Force de frappe, in French nuclear doctrine it is the last-resort "warning shot" prior to a full-scale employment of strategic nuclear weapons. The missile's construction was contracted to Aérospatiale's Tactical Missile Division, now part of MBDA.

ASMP entered service in 1986, replacing the earlier free-fall AN-22 bomb on France's Dassault Mirage IV aircraft and the AN-52 bomb on Dassault Super Étendard. About 84 weapons are stockpiled. Carrier aircraft are the Dassault Mirage 2000N, Rafale, and Super Étendard; the earlier Mirage IVP was completely retired in 1996.

ASMP is 5.38 m long and weighs 860 kg. It is a supersonic stand-off missile powered by a liquid-fuel ramjet. It flies at Mach 2 to Mach 3, with a range between 80 km and 300 km depending on flight profile. Warhead is a single TN 81 with two yield options, 150 and 300 kt of TNT.

An advanced version known as ASMP-A has a range of about 500km at a speed of up to Mach 3 with the new TNA (tête nucléaire aéroporté) 300kt thermonuclear warhead. It entered service in October 2009 with the Mirage 2000NK3 of squadron EC 3/4 at Istres and on July 2010 with the Rafales of squadron EC 1/91 at Saint Dizier.









Type  medium-range air to surface nuclear missile

Service history

In service 1986

Production history

Manufacturer Aérospatiale
Weight 860 Kg.
Length 5.38 m
Diameter 300 mm
Warhead TN 81 nuclear warhead, 150 kt or 300 kt of TNT (variable yield)
Engine liquid-fuel ramjet
Operational  range between 80 Km. and 300 Km.
Speed Mach 2 to Mach 3
Launch  platform Dassault Mirage IV, Dassault Mirage 2000N, Dassault Rafale, and  Dassault Super Etendart










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