France and Italy have signed an agreement on development of the Aster 30 Block 1NT missile, the French Defence Ministry have said in a statement.

British officials at a summit in March said that the Royal Navy is considering arming its destroyers with the new Aster version, dubbed Aster 30 Block 1NT (New Technology), a wide area defence capable against 1500 km-range ballistic missiles.

Earlier in 2016 at the UK-France Security Summit, the two nations pledged to work jointly on complex weapons. According to a joint statement:

“We are fully supporting the long term strategy to jointly deliver effective military equipment in the most efficient manner while minimising national constraints and strengthening our common defence technological and industrial base.

In support of this, Defence Ministers signed in September 2015 an Inter-Governmental Agreement enabling full implementation of Centres of Excellence into MBDA, a key step towards creating inter-dependence between us around key missile technologies.

We also intend to develop in 2016 a portfolio approach to strengthen our industrial links and jointly address the current and future operational requirements of our forces. In that respect, France is for instance considering Brimstone 2 for next standard of Tiger combat helicopter and the United Kingdom is considering the Aster Block 1NT for equipping its T45 Destroyers.”

The French Defence Minister and his Italian counterpart signed the agreement yesterday in Paris.

The programme aims to “extend the range to hit incoming ballistic missiles”.

The UK Government said:

“We are fully supporting the long term strategy to jointly deliver effective military equipment in the most efficient manner while minimising national constraints and strengthening our common defence technological and industrial base. In support of this, Defence Ministers signed in September 2015 an Inter-Governmental Agreement enabling full implementation of Centres of Excellence into MBDA, a key step towards creating inter-dependence between us around key missile technologies.

We also intend to develop in 2016 a portfolio approach to strengthen our industrial links and jointly address the current and future operational requirements of our forces. In that respect, France is for instance considering Brimstone 2 for next standard of Tiger combat helicopter and the United Kingdom is considering the Aster Block 1NT for equipping its T45 Destroyers.”

Aster is primarily operated by France, Italy, and the United Kingdom and is an integrated component of the PAAMS air-defence missile system, known in the Royal Navy as Sea Viper. As the principal weapon of the PAAMS system, Aster equips the Type 45 destroyers and the Horizon class frigates.

7 COMMENTS

  1. At least they have ships to fire them from.. Unlike the Uk 1 BILLION POUND for a Training ship that cannot operate in warm water (Type 45)

  2. With regard to the Type 45, it would be very interesting to find out what the industrial relations were like between the various project stakeholders. It seems to me that a very contractual, and somewhat low trust, relationship existed but I would like for someone to confirm where this was the case of not.

    Supplying components that one knows will suffer under certain sustained but highly probably conditions even though fully compliant with specifications, sounds like a two fingers up response from a very unhappy contractor.

    • I have seen it put this way, the ambient air temperature in the Gulf, not water temps is affecting the efficiency of the marine propulsion plant. The shipbuilders had a hard time because MOD kept changing requirements constantly but the real issue was choosing a GT the WR21 a risky unproven white elephant nobody wanted in the end, rather than the LM plant which is what the builders suggested in the first place.
      The T-45 is a “value built” hull, we built a ship we could afford rather than building it with the Gucci kit we had wished for aside from the Viper system.

  3. Can Astors fire from submarines? When surfaced or submerged, Surface ships seem so vunerable to me to attack from sea skimmers like exocet or similar. Phalanx type defence doesn’t seem enough on its own. If a type 42 could submerge, well then..

  4. uk ships
    uk ships are now built cheap gone are the days of all steel built multi compartment ships we now have steel hulls and alloy super structures nothing was learnt after the falklands except maybe that poly prop 8s were trash the old cotton drill were much better, our ships are always cheap and lethal under armed and its always going to be the same until the government sort out their mess and put it right, we have 2 new carriers which are great except they have no defencive missile systems so it take 6 ships to protect one carrier ,as I said the government need to sort their mess out and spend more money on our ship defences

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