French Navy Horizon Class Destroyer Chevalier Paul Succeeds in Complex Air Defense Test

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Naval Forces News - France
 
 
 
French Navy Horizon Class Destroyer Chevalier Paul Succeeds in Complex Air Defense Test
 
The "missile test" division of the French procurement agency (DGA) and the French Navy conducted on 13 January 2015 a complex firing test: The scenario consisted in the launch of an Aster 30 surface-to-air missile from the Horizon class air defense destroyer Chevalier Paul (D621) against an air target pursuing a friendly aircraft. The objective was to confirm the discrimination and intercept ability of the Aster 30 missile when faced with two very interlinked radar tracks.
     
The "missile test" division of the French procurement agency (DGA) and the French Navy conducted on 13 January 2015 a complex firing test: The scenario consisted in the launch of an Aster 30 surface-to-air missile from the Horizon class air defense destroyer Chevalier Pau" (D621) against an air target pursuing a friendly aircraft. The objective was to confirm the discrimination and intercept ability of the Aster 30 missile when faced with two very interlinked radar tracks.
French Navy air defense Destroyer Chevalier Paul providing escort to USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74) in the strait of Ormuz in February 2013.
(picture: U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Kenneth Abbate/Released)
     
The French Navy DCNS-built Horizon class Destroyers are advanced warships dedicated to air defense missions. They usually deploy with 32 "Aster 30" missiles for long range interception and 16 "Aster 15" missiles for medium range interception. The vessels are also fitted with 8 MM 40 Exocet Block III latest version anti-ship missiles. All missiles developped and produced by MBDA.

To guide the missiles, Chevalier Paul is fitted with a powerful tri-dimensional radar, the S1850M/SMART-L , capable of detecting targets more than 200 kilometers away and the EMPAR multifunction radar. Both radars are made by Thales. The main mission of this class of ship is the protection of aircraft carriers, capital ships or littoral infrastructures from threats coming from the air.
     
An Aster 30 surface to air missile is launched from the Chevalier Paul's VLS cell (file picture)
An Aster 30 surface to air missile is launched from the Chevalier Paul's VLS cell (file picture)
(picture: French navy)
     
The scenario developed for the French Navy by the DGA allowed to collect detailed technical data of the final interception phase (thanks to specific instrumentation fitted on the Aster 30 used in the test). Beyond the priority of safeguarding people and property safety within a complex scenario involving three flying objects including a missile, one of the challenge achieved by DGA was have two Mirach targets flying in formation at close distances.
     
The first of two Selex-ES Mirach target is launched for the test (Picture: DGA)
The first of two Selex-ES Mirach target is launched for the test (Picture: DGA)
     
According to the DGA, this test has illustrated the excellent qualities of PAAMS (Principal Anti Air Missile System) and Aster missile in a complex situations, especially in situations where friendly and enemy units are involved. The PAAMS/Aster combo is one of the few operational systems in the world capable of such performance.

PAAMS system, developed in cooperation with Italy and Great Britain, consists of a multifunction radar, surveillance radar, Aster 15 and Aster 30 missiles, a vertical launch system (SYLVER by DCNS) and a command and control system. PAAMS may perform self-defense, point/local defense and area defense missions.

It should be notted that following the test, Chevalier Paul deployed with the Charles de Gaulle carrier strike group as we recently reported.
     
French Navy Chevalier Paul Air Defense Destroyer (Horizon Class) fires an Aster 30 surface to air missile to intercept the target in a complex environment. (Picture: DGA)
French Navy Air Defense Destroyer (Horizon Class) Chevalier Paul fires an Aster 30 surface to air missile to intercept the target in a complex environment. (Picture: DGA)
     
An Airbus Helicopters AS350 Écureuil (Squirrel) recovers the target (Picture: DGA)
An Airbus Helicopters AS350 Écureuil (Squirrel) recovers the target (Picture: DGA)
 

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