MBDA has announced the completion of qualification trials of the SAAM/IT
self-defense missile system. The last test firing was carried out from the
Italian Navy test ship Carabiniere.
This final test consisted of the shoot down of an aerial target simulating a low
level subsonic threat protected by ECM. The aerial target was a C22 drone flying
close-coupled to another C22, both were protected by ECM. The first C22 was shoot
down by an Aster 15 missile fired from the ship Carabiniere.
Despite electronic clutter, SAAM's surveillance and fire control systems
worked successfully achieving target discrimination and terminal phase
intercept. The Aster 15, guided by its seeker, intercepted the C22 at a range of
10 kilometers (5.4 nm) from the Carabiniere.
The new Andrea Doria carrier, under construction by Fincantieri Shipyards, will
be the first ship of the Italian Navy to get the SAAM/IT (Italian SAAM).
Afterward the SAAM/IT, integrated into PAAMS, will be installed aboard the
Italian Orizzonte class frigates, french Horizon class frigates and British Type
45 (or Daring class) destroyers.
SAAM is been developed under the Franco-Italian FSAF program led by the MBDA
corporation. The FSAF program intents to produce a family of ground and naval
air defense systems for Italy and France. The SAAM is a naval version that
employs the Aster 15 missile with a range of 30 kilometers (16.2 nm) used for
local and point air defense. The FSAF missiles are vertically launched to
provide a best all-directional defense.
The SAAM includes a multifunctional radar (Italy the EMPAR and France the Arabel),
a C2 unit and a Silver VLS. Aster 15 missiles is also included in the joint PAAMS
program carried out by the United Kingdom, France and Italy. The PAAMS also
includes the impressive 100 kilometers (54 nm) range Aster 30 missile designed
to ship area air defense.
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