The French Navy's first frégate Européen multi-mission (FREMM) frigate, Aquitaine, has successfully test-fired the Aster 15 anti-aircraft missile in the Mediterranean off DGA's Missile Test Center on the Ile du Levant, France.
During the tests, performed in cooperation with DCNS and MBDA crew, the missile successfully destroyed the designated aerial target following its launch from Aquitaine.
Conducted under the responsibility of the Directorate General of Armaments (DGA) and the joint body Cooperation (OCCAR), the demonstration validated military characteristics of Aquitaine prior to its operational service with the navy.
The MBDA Aster 15 air defence missile system has been designed to provide strikes against supersonic and subsonic threats at a maximum range of 30km.
Under the contract, DCNS will deliver 11 FREMM ships for the French Navy and one for the Royal Moroccan Navy.
Two of the 12 frigates will be equipped with torpedoes, vertical-launch self-defence missiles and active towed array sonar, while the remaining ships will feature anti-submarine warfare (ASW) and shore bombardment enhanced capabilities.
The second FREMM vessel, Mohammed VI, is due to be delivered to the Royal Moroccan Navy in 2013, while the third ship of the class for the French Navy, named Normandie, is scheduled to be commissioned in May 2014.
Delivered by DCNS in November 2012, the 142m-long Aquitaine has a displacement capacity of 6,000t, a range of 15km, can cruise at a speed of 27k and is capable of accommodating a crew of 145.
Powered by an LM2500+ gas turbine, the ships are armed with Herakles 3D S-band multifunction surveillance radar, MdCN cruise missiles and Exocet MM40 anti-ship missiles, as well as Aster anti-air missiles.
Image: MBDA-built Aster missile system being loaded onto a FREMM frigate. Photo: courtesy of DCN.