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Another step accomplished in the European anti-missile programme. The Organisation for Joint Armament Cooperation OCCAR notified to the EUROSAM consortium the amendment 1 of the contract for the “B1NT” programme. This amendment embodies the participation of Italy in the programme.
It follows the notification of the initial contract under French mandate on December 23, 2015, and the Arrangement of Cooperation, signed in June 2016 by the French and Italian Defence Ministers, laying down the framework of responsibilities and rights of the two countries vis-a-vis the missile to be developed in cooperation, and its multiple applications in land and naval defence systems against air attacks and ballistic missiles.
The EUROSAM consortium is formed by the companies MBDA, a European multinational defence company, and Thales.
Established in 1989, EUROSAM is the industrial prime contractor and system design authority for the development, production, marketing and sales of a range of medium and long range missile systems also known as Future Surface-to-Air Family of missile systems.
In the integrated defense realm, MBDA provides missiles and missile systems for each branch of the armed forces, whether in air, at sea or on land.
According to MBDA’s website, the “B1NT” programme includes the development by MBDA of the new version Block 1 NT (New Technology) of the Aster missile but also the modernisation of SAMP/T systems currently in service with the French Air Force and the Italian Army. These systems will thus acquire enhanced capabilities, particularly against ballistic missiles, constituting an essential contribution for both countries to the NATO programme in this area.
The Aster 30 Block 1 NT missile development takes into account the key dual requirement (same missile for ground and naval Aster systems), including thus the necessary adjustments to allow the missile to be fired from warships. Italy has in fact expressed its desire to use the Aster 30 Block 1 NT from its future class of PPA offshore patrol vessels.
Speaking about the event, MBDA CEO Antoine Bouvier, stated: “The Italian notification strengthens the Aster programme well beyond the financial and technological contribution. Once again, cooperation in Europe adds up to far more than the sum of its parts. After the current Aster 30 Block 1, which gave Europe its first defence capability against theatre ballistic missiles, the Aster 30 Block 1 NT will allow to extend his capability to more complex threats and will also deal with the emerging threat of Anti-Ship Ballistic Missiles (ASBM).”