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Italian navy completes first launch of Aster 30 missile

By
Ryan Maass
The Aster launch coincided with Salto di Quirra testing facility's return to service. Photo by MBDA Missile Systems
The Aster launch coincided with Salto di Quirra testing facility's return to service. Photo by MBDA Missile Systems

PERDASDEFOGU, Italy, Nov. 28 (UPI) -- The Italian navy launched an Aster 30 missile from Nave Bergamini during a live-fire exercise, completing part of the weapon's qualification program.

The flight test was part of the Italian navy's Surface-To-Air Extended Self Defense system program, also known as SAAM ESD. The system is designed to enhance defensive capabilities for naval vessels. Navy officials say the Aster 30 missile performed as expected during the trial.

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In addition to a successful launch, the event also marked the Salto di Quirra joint armed forces test range's re-entry into service. The area had been closed for 4 years while the military modified the facilities to meet updated environmental and safety requirements.

Aster missiles are developed by MBDA Missile Systems for naval and land-based air defense. The program is comprised of two variants, including the Aster 15 for short-to-medium range strikes and the Aster 30 for short-to-long range strikes. Aster 30s are designed to hit targets over 62 miles away from their launch sites.

Aster customers include naval forces in Italy, France and Britain.

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