French Carrier Strike Group Trains Against Missile Threats
The French Navy (Marine Nationale) air defense destroyer "Chevalier Paul" and aircraft carrier "Charles de Gaulle" both intercepted aerial targets using their Aster surface to air missiles in a complex environment. The test demonstrates the French carrier strike group (CSG)'s capability to defend against missile threats.
Both missile tests were conducted on October 4, 2022. In the morning, Forbin-class air defense destroyer (Horizon type) Chevalier Paul successfully intercepted the target using an Aster 30 surface to air missile.
According to the French Navy, the test was conducted “in an environment artificially reproducing a naval aviation situation close to that encountered in theaters of operation. The neutralization of the high-speed air threat was thus achieved in a denied environment, the fire control radar of the Chevalier Paul having been deliberately jammed”.
The same day, in the afternoon, nuclear-powered aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle successfully intercepted a target using an Aster 15 surface to air missile. This test was also conducted in a denied environment, in a context of the CSG being under missile threats.
🚀 Tirs Aster réussis pour le Chevalier Paul et le Charles de Gaulle, parés à faire face aux menaces missiles ! Ces tirs démontrent les capacités du porte-avions et des frégates de défense aérienne à assurer la défense aérienne du groupe aéronaval (GAN) @French_CSG. ⤵ pic.twitter.com/pcZMt499Pl— Marine nationale (@MarineNationale) October 6, 2022
“These firings demonstrate the technical and operational capabilities of the aircraft carrier and air defense destroyers to ensure the air defense of the CSG in the midst of a denied environment, supported by trained and effective sailors with an excellent proficiency in the use of their tools and air defense requirements.”
“The Chevalier Paul was acting as the CSG’s chief of air defense. Both the destroyer and carrier trained their crews to deal with high-intensity situations likely to be encountered in operations. This training underlines the need for realism in the training of the French Navy’s forces.” - French Navy statement
The Chevalier Paul was acting as the CSG’s chief of air defense. Both the destroyer and carrier trained their crews to deal with high-intensity situations likely to be encountered in operations. This training underlines the need for realism in the training of the French Navy’s forces.
About MBDA Aster missilesCharles de Gaulle launching an Aster 15 SAM from on of its VLS. French Navy picture.
The Aster family of missiles was originally designed by MBDA for the Marine Nationale, Royal Navy and Italian Navy to counter supersonic anti-ship missiles. More than 100 Aster missiles have been fired to date.
The Aster missile family comprises Aster 15 for short to medium range and Aster 30 for short to long range. There is extensive commonality between the two variants with both missiles featuring the same terminal dart. According to MBDA, Aster’s terminal dart is a lightweight, highly manoeuvring and agile missile equipped with a high-performance active RF seeker. Thanks to the unique combination of aerodynamic control and direct thrust vector control called “PIF-PAF”, the missile is capable of high manoeuvres. Together, these features give Aster an unmatched hit-to-kill capability.
Aster missiles are in service on the latest vessels brought into service by three of Europe’s major navies: Italy, France and the United Kingdom. Aster missile naval air defence systems are also in service with several other navies around the world (Such as Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Singapore).
ASTER missile family @byMBDA was originally designed for the @MarineNationale @RoyalNavy @ItalianNavy to counter supersonic ASM.— Xavier Vavasseur (@xaviervav) September 16, 2022
More than 100 ASTER 🚀 have been fired to date pic.twitter.com/RHzlhgg5zY
Aster 15 missile characteristics
Weight: 310 Kg
Length: 4.2 meters
Diameter: 180 mm
Range: Over 30 Km
Max Speed: Mach 3
Aster 30 missile characteristics
Weight: 430 Kg
Length: 4.9 meters
Diameter: 180 mm
Range: Over 100 Km
Max Speed: Mach 3
About Aster Block 1NT
The Aster 30 Block 1 NT missile evolution consists in a new seeker operating in Ka band, replacing the current Ku band seeker, as well as a new improved weapon controller. This change delivers a significant performance enhancement.
The new missile will be capable of intercepting threats of the entry of the MRBM (Medium Range Ballistic Missiles) domain whereas the current Aster 30 Block 1 deals with SRBM (Short Range Ballistic Missiles) of up to 600 km range and it will also be capable of dealing with missiles with separable warheads. This new version of Aster will extend the antiballistic capability of the missile from a range of 600km up to 1,500km.
The program passed preliminary design review in January 2019.