The incredible “zoo” of air defense equipment, which is already in service with the Armed Forces of Ukraine, should soon be replenished not only with American air defense systems MIM-104 Patriot, but also the Franco-Italian FSAF SAMP/T Mamba complex. Challenges writes about the consideration of Ukraine’s order for these systems.

“France and Italy will provide Ukraine with the requested air defense equipment… This is a very persistent request of President Zelensky, and the Italians have confirmed to us that they are ready to fulfill it. In this way, we can meet these needs,” said French Ambassador to Ukraine Etienne de Poncins.

The FSAF SAMP/T is a ground-based launch platform for the Aster family of anti-aircraft missiles, namely the Aster 30 Block 1 and Aster 30 Block 1NT. The missiles are developed by the Franco-Italian consortium Eurosam, which was created by MBDA France, MBDA Italy and Thales Group specifically for the production of air defense equipment.

FSAF SAMP/T Mamba

The Aster 30 Block 1 and Block 1 NT two-stage solid-propellant missiles are interesting as, thanks to their high speed (up to Mach 4.1), high level of automation, response speed, and rate of fire (8 missiles can be fired from each launcher in 10 seconds), they are able to shoot down even tactical ballistic missiles like the Russian Iskander and Iranian Fateh-110 and Zolfaghar.

A typical FSAF SAMP-T battery consists of a fire control subsystem (Arabel X-band radar, IFF system, fire control system), a reloading system for launchers and from 1 to 6 launchers for 8 missiles in transport and launch containers on each. The launchers are mounted on an Astra/Iveco or Renault-TRM-10000 car chassis with an 8×8 wheel formula.

FSAF SAMP/T Mamba

The FSAF SAMP/T Mamba air defense systems were adopted by the armies of France and Italy only in 2011. At the same time, France has 32 launchers, Italy – only 6. Another 12 systems were bought by Singapore. At the same time, it is believed that Italy should provide Ukraine with a certain share of its air defense systems.

Well, the ability to shoot down ballistic missiles is already a new level. Thank you, France and Italy!

Specifications of Aster 30 Block 1 anti-aircraft missiles
Length – 4.9 m
Diameter – 180 mm / 540 mm
Wingspan – 0.92 m
Weight – 450 kg
Warhead weight – 15-20 kg
Engine – solid rocket
Speed – Mach 4.1 (1,400 m/s)
Operational range – up to 120 km
Flight altitude – up to 20 km