The event marked the fourth scheduled firing by a FREMM frigate, conducted using an instrumented telemetry missile (procured by the OCCAR-EA FSAF-PAAMS Programme Division). The qualification phase, managed by OCCAR according to the FREMM contract, was previously performed by the ITS Bergamini both in autonomous and integrated mode. This new success showcases the reliability of the Surface Anti Air Missile providing both Self Defence and Extended Self Defence (SAAM ESD) system, installed on board the Italian FREMM frigates.
The Italian FREMM Anti Air Warfare Capability based on the SAAM ESD is now entrusted for ensuring protection also to consort ships through their 16 ASTER missiles (ASTER 15 or ASTER 30).
The firing confirmed, indeed, the outstanding capabilities of the SAAM ESD against missiles simulated by a Mirach 40 target.
Giovanni Sorrentino, the FREMM Programme Manager stated
“The whole mission, planned in a such complex scenario never verified by previous firings, proves the effective cooperation among PISQ, the IT Navy personnel, the OCCAR-EA FREMM and FSAF-PAAMS Programme Divisions and the Industries involved”.
OCCAR (Organisation Conjointe de Coopération en matière d’Armement / Organisation for Joint Armament Co-operation) is an international organisation whose core-business is the through life management of cooperative defence equipment programmes.
ITS Martinengo is the third of six Bergamini-class FREMM frigates (in “General Purpose” variant) of the Italian Navy. The vessel built by Fincantieri was launched in March 2017 and commissioned in April 2018. It is home-ported in Taranto naval base.
“General Purpose” FREMM frigates of the Italian Navy are fitted with 2x A50 Sylver Vertical Launching System (VLS) for a total of 16x ASTER 15 or ASTER 30 surface to air missiles by MBDA.
The last two FREMM Frigates for the French Navy, known as FREMM DA, will also be fitted with the ASTER 30: They will feature 4x Sylver A50 VLS for a total of 32x MBDA ASTER 15 or ASTER 30. ASW variant FREMM Frigates Bretagne and Normandie (Aquitaine-class) can also deploy 16x ASTER 30 thanks to 2x Sylver A50 VLS.
The future ASTER 30 B1NT by MBDA is set to bring Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD) capability. It will intercept short-range or ballistic missiles having a range of up to 1500 km. While a milestone achieved last year with this missile relates to the land-based SAMP/T systems (of the French and Italian Army), the missile is set to eventually be deployed aboard air defense destroyers of the UK (Type 45), France and Italy (Horizon-class). Studies for the integration of Aster 30 B1NT missiles aboard the Forbin-class (to provide them with Ballistic Missile Defence BMD capability) are provisioned in the 2019-2025 French military planning law.
The Italian Navy is set to get this capability in 2024 with the delivery of its first PPA (Pattugliatore Polivalente d’Altura or Offshore Multipurpose Patrol Ship) vessel in the “Full” configuration.