ROME, Jan. 13 (UPI) -- EUROSAM, a consortium formed by Thales Group and MBDA Systems, has formally welcomed Italy to its Aster 30 Block 1 NT program.
The B1NT program is an effort supported by the French and Italian defense ministries to develop new technology for the Aster missile in addition to modernizing SAMP/T systems currently in service.
"The Italian notification strengthens the Aster program well beyond the financial and technological contribution," MBDA CEO Antoine Bouvier said in a press release. "Once again, cooperation in Europe adds up to far more than the sum of its parts."
Aster missiles are currently used by European operators to defend against ballistic missile threats. The B1NT program aims to expand the capability against additional threats.
"After the current Aster 30 Block 1, which gave Europe its first defence capability against theatre ballistic missiles, the Aster 30 Block 1 NT will allow to extend this capability to more complex threats and will also deal with the emerging threat of Anti-Ship Ballistic Missiles," Bouvier added.