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France successfully fires ASMPA missile from Mirage 2000N

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A French air force Mirage 2000N nuclear strike fighter shows off an ASMPA supersonic stand-off missile on its centerline pylon. Phot: French Air Force.

PARIS (BNS): French Air force has successfully completed first evaluation firing of the new weapon system formed by the Mirage 2000N and the ASMPA enhanced stand-off missile.

The test was code named Topaze by the Air Force.

The aircraft’s crew, comprising a pilot and a navigator from the 3/4 “Limousin” fighter squadron, flew a long mission (about 5 hours) during which it flew at different flight profiles: high altitude, several in-flight refuelling from a C135 tanker belonging to the 2/91 “Bretagne” In-Flight Refuelling Group, low-level penetration, terrain following etc.

After five hours of flight, the crew fired the ASMPA (without nuclear charge),which followed its intended flight trajectory.

“The 3/4 “Limousin” fighter squadron invested a lot [of effort] in this project,” The French air force magazine quoted unit’s commanding officer, Lt. Col. Luc Pernet, as saying.

The project also include DGA armaments agency, air force’s strategic command assets, the missile prime contractor MBDA and the French navy whose assets patrolled the firing area.

ASMPA is a new missile, equipped with an airborne nuclear warhead (TNA), powered by a solid fuel motor and a powder booster. It can be fired at various altitudes and flies at supersonic speeds along a trajectory that allow it to evade enemy defenses.

Its warhead is the first to be developed in France without recourse to nuclear tests, using only computer simulations. Its development used mainly physical data collected during the last nuclear test campaign, as well as intensive computer calculations and simulations.

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France  Mirage  Missile  
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