France-Italian system downs target

March 8, 2013 at 3:29 PM

PARIS, March 8 (UPI) -- The French/Italian Aster 30 SAMP/T medium-range air defense system successfully intercepted a target representative of a ballistic missile in a recent test.

The French defense armaments agency said the exercise Wednesday was the firing of an Aster 30 missile was part of the SAMP/T system's technical and operational evaluation and was conducted in southwest France by French air force and Italian army personnel.

The ASTER 30, made by MBDA, is a hit-to-kill weapon, can reach an altitude of 18 miles at a speed of 3,400 mph.

"This successful firing is a further step taken in the demonstration of the SAMP/T weapon system's capacity to counter missile threats to NATO forces deployed in-theater," DGA said.

DGA said the test was the third successful intercept by the system of a target representative of a theater ballistic missile.

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