Italy and the United Kingdom signed an agreement Friday to upgrade their Aster surface-to-air missiles.
This strategic contract, which follows the Amendment 5 signed by OCCAR-EA in January 2020 on behalf of French armament procurement agency – DGA, will allow the five Services (FR, IT, UK Navy, IT Army and FR Air Force) of the three Programme Participating Nations (IT, UK, FR) to extend the operational availability of their ASTER missiles stockpile.
The global MLU production Programme will cover the retrofit of about 1000 ASTER missiles, starting from 2023 for the following 13 years, with a total value of more than €1.2 billion.
The MLU kits will be provided by MBDA France (Selles-Saint-Denis) for France, CIMA Aulla for Italy and DMG for the United Kingdom. These companies will be supported by MBDA.
The Aster missile series, primarily comprising the Aster 15 and Aster 30 are a family of Franco-Italian vertically launched surface-to-air missiles. Aster is manufactured by Eurosam, a European consortium consisting of MBDA France, MBDA Italy (combined 66%) and the Thales Group (33%).
The missile is designed to intercept and destroy a wide range of air threats, such as supersonic anti-ship cruise missiles at very low altitude (sea-skimming) and fast flying, high performance aircraft or missiles.