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French Navy fires first Aster 30 missile with Forbin destroyer


As part of the GABIAN 19.3 High-Intensity Training, air defence destroyer Forbin engaged for the first time an Aster 30 missile against a target drone that was tracked and targeted by another vessel (FREMM Languedoc).


French Navy fires first ASTER 30 Missile with FORBIN Destroyer 925 001 The French Navy demonstrated a cooperative engagement between two of its surface vessels (Picture source: French Navy)


Horizon-class air defence destroyer Forbin remotely engaged a target (with an Aster 30 surface to air missile) using a radar track shared via data-link by the FREMM frigate Languedoc.

The event, a milestone for the French Navy (a first in Europe, for a European navy), took place on September 18, 2019, during the “Gabian” training exercise, a recurring exercise involving several vessels based in Toulon, on France’s southern coast.

According to the French Navy, the success of this cooperative engagement validates the robustness of the data link architectures between its surface combatants and demonstrates their ability to share the tactical situation and coordinate their sensors and effectors in order to conduct air defence missions in combat situations.

These training exercises with live firings are essential for the operations of tomorrow and are therefore an essential preparation for a “Combatant Navy” which calls for units, weapon systems and crews to be experienced and therefore well trained.

The Aster missile family comprises Aster 15 for short to medium range and Aster 30 for short to long-range. There is an extensive commonality between the two variants with both missiles featuring the same terminal dart.

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.

Aster 15 and Aster 30 missiles are vertically launched and autonomously guided to provide the best means of coping with saturating attacks. Due to very short missile preparation time and very high speed the Aster weapon system has a very quick engagement capability.