NATO exercises have again proven the potent air defence capabilities of MBDA’s Aster missile in providing long-range protection from difficult air threats.
Exercise Formidable Shield saw four successful Aster firings conducted by the Royal Navy, French Navy and Italian Navy against supersonic and subsonic sea skimming and manoeuvring targets.
Formidable Shield is conducted from the UK’s Hebrides live firing range and is designed to test the Alliance’s Integrated Air and Missile Defence (IAMD) capabilities, being its main such exercise in Europe. The exercise saw 13 NATO allies and 20 NATO warships co-operate to test their integrated air defence capabilities against a range of challenging scenarios, with Aster successfully conducting single-shot kills against all targets.
During the exercise, Italian Navy frigate “Margottini” successfully fired an Aster 30 against a Coyote GQM-163A supersonic target and an Aster 15 against a Firejet target. Meanwhile, French Navy frigate “Bretagne” fired an Aster 30 against a Coyote GQM-163A supersonic target and Royal Navy destroyer “HMS Defender” successfully conducted an Aster 30 firing against a Firejet.