Italy and France have signed a joint production contract for the SAMP/T NG (New-Generation) air defense system.
The Organisation for Joint Armament Cooperation signed the contract on behalf of the French and Italian governments for the French Air Force and the Italian Army.
MBDA France, MBDA Italy, and Thales consortium Eurosam has been developing the SAMP/T air defense system upgrade since 2021.
The delivery is expected to begin in 2025.
A SAMP/T NG battery comprises up to six launchers carrying eight Aster missiles each, a multi-functional radar — either the Leonardo Kronos Grand Mobile High Power chosen by Italy or the Thales Ground Fire 300 chosen by France — and one engagement module.
The radar can detect threats such as supersonic and ballistic missiles, providing 360-degree protection simultaneously.
The system can detect and intercept air-breathing targets over 350 kilometers (217 miles) and maneuvering ballistic missiles over 600 kilometers (373 miles) away.
$2-Billion Aster Missile Contract
The contract comes days after the countries contracted Eurosam to deliver Aster air defense missiles for 2 billion euros ($2.18 billion).
The contract covers the delivery of 700 missiles, including the Aster 30 B1 New Technology (NT), to arm the SAMP/T NG.