Sawari II Completes SAAM Trials

Released on Monday, September 13, 2004
Saudi Arabia
Aster 15
La Fayette
MM40 Exocet
Sawari II
HMS - Her Majesty Ship
RSNF - Royal Saudi Naval Force
SAAM - Surface-to-Air Anti-Missile
MBDA has announced that the first operational firing of an ASTER 15 point defense missile from HMS Al Riyadh Sawari II class frigate was carried out at the Mediterranean Test Center in Hyeres near Toulon, France, on September 7, 2004.

This firing marks the full operational capability of SAAM system installed on Royal Saudi Naval Force (RSNF) Sawari II frigates and the ship's crew training program. All test objectives were met with the target being acquired and tracked by the ARABEL multi-functional radar system and then intercepted and destroyed by direct impact ASTER 15 missile. The missile was launched from SYLVER launch system and the entire engagement including the above noted systems was managed by the centralized fire control system.

The first SAAM launch performed from HMS Al Damman occurred on March 23, 2004. Since June 2001, the Sawari II frigates have performed nine successful firings of ASTER 15 missile. The missile uses an active radio frequency seeker, midcourse inertial guidance, and thrust vectoring control (TVC) which provides enhanced maneuverability to seamlessly intercept and kill its intended target. The first of three frigates was delivered in 2002 to the RSNF and the remaining ships are scheduled for delivery this year.

The Sawari II procurement contract for three frigates was signed in November 1994 between France and Saudi Arabia. These ships are based on successful La Fayette class frigates ordered by France and Taiwan. Each Sawari II (F3000S) frigate has two eight-cell SYLVER launch systems housing 16 ASTER 15 missiles, the ARABEL multi-function radar and an integrated fire control system as the basis for SAAM air defense system. In addition, Sawari II frigates are equipped with eight Exocet MM40 Block 2 anti-ship missiles.


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