French Ministery of Armed Forces press release
It warmly congratulates all the personnel of the French Ministry of Defence, MBDA and Dassault Aviation companies and ONERA, who worked to ensure its success.
The missile, developed by MBDA, was fired by a Rafale that took off from Cazaux Air Force Base 120, as part of a program managed by the French defense procurement agency (DGA). Throughout its flight phase, the missile was monitored by DGA Essais Missile (missile trials) resources in Biscarrosse, Hourtin and Quimper, the ‘Monge’ test and measurement vessel, with the participation of DGA Essais en vol.
This success marks the start of the production phase for the upgraded ASMPA missile, a prerequisite for its entry into service with the French Air Force’s Strategic Air Forces and the French Navy’s nuclear air force. This armament program meets the will of the President of the Republic, who has committed these forces “to take the necessary decisions to maintain their operational credibility over time, at the level of strict sufficiency required by the international environment”.
Naval News comment:
The ASMPA is a supersonic cruise missile carrying a nuclear warhead. It is part of France’s airborne nuclear component. The ASMPA was initially used on the Mirage 2000N-K3 fighter-bomber until 2018, before being integrated on the Rafale F3R. The missile entered ervice with the French Air Force (Armée de l’Air) in 2009 and with the French Navy (Marine Nationale) in 2010.
The ASMPA will ultimately be replaced by the future ASN4G strategic missile, in development with the DGA.
After the completion of this test, French Navy and French Air Force should be allowed to perform training firings.