Aster B1 NT
Initial Operational Capability (IOC):
Also Known As: Aster Block 1 NT
MBDA*, Sagem Defense Securite and Thales (*) lead contractor
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Description: The ASTER modular family of vertically launched missiles have been designed to meet the high demanding requirements of the emerging air threats such as aircraft, UAVs, helicopters and specially missiles. The ASTER missiles can be installed on ground- and sea-based platforms. They feature hit-to-kill capability, a very valuable skill against ballistic missiles. The missile family entered service in 2002 with the French Armed Forces. The ASTER 15 and ASTER 30 are integrated on the SAAM (ASTER 15), PAAMS (ASTER 15 and ASTER 30) and SAMP/T (ASTER 30) air defense systems. These systems will be employed by the armed forces of France, Italy and the United Kingdom.
The two-stage ASTER missiles are provided with two different solid propellant boosters resulting in the ASTER 15 and the ASTER 30 models. The 'Pif-Paf' control system enables the ASTER missile to counter high maneuverable missiles achieving a direct impact (hit-to-kill). The 'Pif-Paf' propulsion combines conventional aerodynamic control with control by gas jets acting through the centre of gravity of the missile. Until mid-course the guidance of an ASTER missile is based on the Inertial Navigation System (INS) updated through an uplink, in the terminal phase the guidance is provided by an active Radiofrequency seeker. The final stage of the ASTER missile is a 'dart' equipped with the seeker, a sustainer motor, a proximity fuze and a blast fragmentation warhead.
The Aster Block 1 NT (New Technology), also referred to as Aster B1 NT, is a new variant of the Aster Block 1 anti-ballistic missile intended to upgrade the SAMP/T ground-based air defense system. The new missile has been designed to engage ballistic missiles with a maximum range between 1,000 and 1,500 kilometers. The Aster B1 NT program was launched in December 2015 by the French DGA and is expected to enter service with the French Air Force by 2023.
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