French Navy Normandie Aquitaine-class frigate successfully test-fired Aster 30 surface-to-air missile

According to a Tweet published on February 2, 2021, the Normandie (D651), an Aquitaine-class frigate of the French Navy successfully test-fired Aster 30 surface-to-air missile in collaboration with the French defense procurement agency DGA.
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Russian Vyborg Shipyard laid the Purga ice class coastguard ship of project 23550 925 001 Test fire of Aster 30 surface-to-air missile from Normandie D651, an Aquitaine-class frigate of the French Navy. (Picture source French Navy)

The Normandie is a frigate in service with the French that was developed as part of a joint Italian-French program known as FREMM. The management of the development, production and initial In-Service Support phases of this important naval Program was assigned to OCCAR (Organisation Conjointe de Coopération en matière d'Armement / Organisation for Joint Armament Co-operation) in 2005.

The FREMM program consists of the construction of 18 ships including 8 for France and 10 for Italy. In France, the class is known as the Aquitaine class, while in Italy they are known as the Bergamini class. The FREMM are designed to be used as Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASM/ASW), Anti-Air Warfare (FREDA) and General Purpose (GP) ships.

The Normandie Aquitaine-class frigate is armed with two Sylver A50 vertical launch systems for a total of 16 MBDA Aster 15 or 30 surface-to-air missiles, one Leonardo OTO Melara 76 mm SR naval gun, three Nexter 20 mm Narwhal remote weapon systems, eight MBDA MM-40 Exocet block 3 anti-ship missiles, 16-cell MBDA SYLVER A70 VLS for 16 MBDA MdCN naval land-attack cruise missiles and two double Leonardo (WASS) B-515 launcher for MU 90 torpedoes.

The Aster is a family of surface-to-air missile that includes the Aster 15 for short-to-medium range and the Aster 30 for short-to-long range air defense. ASTER 30 also provides long range interception capability for area defense. For extended air defense with ATBM protection, the family also includes ASTER 30 B1 and ASTER Block 1 NT.

Both the ASTER 15 and the ASTER 30 missiles are vertically launched and use inertial mid-course guidance, with guidance correction update data being transmitted from the fire control center. The Aster 30 missile has as a tandem first stage solid propellant booster motor and a weight of 450 kg. It has an operational range from 3 to 120 km and can fly at an altitude from 0 to 20 km with a maximum speed of Mach 4.5 (5,600 km/h).

French Navy Normandie Aquitaine class frigate successfully test fired Aster 30 surface to air missile 925 002
French Navy Normandie Aquitaine-class frigate (Picture source Military Leak website)

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