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Franco-Italian next-gen SAMP/T air defense system enters production

Photo: Eurosam

Italy and France have signed a contract via the Organisation for Joint Armament Co-operation (OCCAR) that will take the new generation of medium range air defense systems (SAMP/T NG) for the two countries’ armed forces to the production stage.

Eurosam managing director Eva Bruxmeier signed the contract with France’s Direction générale de l’armement (DGA) for the French Air Force and the SEGREDIFESA for the Italian Army.

France and Italy launched the development of the SAMP/T NG system in March 2021. The new-generation system will incorporate two new generation radars capable of tracking future threats at medium ranges.

For the Italian system, Leonardo’s Kronos radar will be employed while the French system will feature the Ground Fire 300 system from Thales. An engagement module will be jointly supplied by Thales and MBDA Italy.

SAMP/T NG is entering production after completing successful preliminary design reviews in 2022.

France and Italy are also working on enhancing the ASTER Block 1 NT (new technology) interceptor missile used by the air defense system with a new seeker and a new computer to allow it to face emerging threats.

Other upgrades will include new electronic equipment for the launchers that are mounted on Italian Astra/Iveco and French Renault-KERAX 8×8 trucks and a command and control module based on upgraded open command and control software architecture.

According to Eurosam, the French-Italian joint venture that manages the supply and maintenance of air defense systems, SAMP/T NG will be capable of detecting threats at ranges of over 350 kilometers and intercepting them at distances of around 150 kilometers.