In the Air Force they never stop looking and preparing for the next day in every sector. In this context, apart from the cosmogony that is currently taking place with the Rafale and F-16 Viper, the Air Force people are running the case of helicopters that will replace in the first phase the aging AB-205 and at some stage in the future the Super Puma that have begun to load dangerous hours in search and rescue and airlift operations, looking at helicopters like the Blackhawk, AW 139 and H-225.
At the same time they have the issue of replacing anti-aircraft missiles on their minds. In this context, on Wednesday 7 June 2023, a meeting was held, at the General Staff of the Air Force (GAF), between the representatives of the companies "MBDA", Ms. Annie-Kristina Ramon (Senior Executive), Mr. Francois Moussez (Military Advisor) and "Thales", Mr. Mr. Patrick Defranoux (VP, Country Director Greece and Cyprus), Mr. Alex Ray (Senior Sales Manager), Mr. Fernando Matos (Product Line Manager) and Mr. Athanasios Georgiadis (Key Account Manager & Business Development Manager) with responsible staff members of the General Staff of the National Defence Staff and the General Staff.
The purpose of the meeting was the presentation, on behalf of the companies, of the capabilities of the Ground Based Air Defence (GBAD) system they manufacture.
Well-informed sources told us that the system presented had to do with area defence. In this category MBDA has the ASTER 30-SAMP/T system. A move to acquire them would give significant homogeneity to the Greek arsenal given that this particular missile will equip the Kimon class frigates while the knowledge around this system is very good to have at the disposal of the Air Force as there is relevant interest from time to time from Turkey as well.
MBDA reports that: The ASTER 30 SAMP/T is the principal, mobile, 21st century anti-aircraft defence weapon for theatre of operations protection. It protects sensitive locations and deploying forces from missile threats (TBM, stand-off, cruise missiles, ARM) and aircraft, replacing all existing medium-range surface-to-air systems.
The ASTER 30 SAMP/T system is designed to meet medium- and long-range air defence needs (force projection, protection of high-value areas and area protection). It can operate in stand-alone mode or can be integrated into a coordinated network.
ASTER is a two-stage missile, a concept that leads to maximum interceptor stage effectiveness. The solid propellant booster ensures optimal configuration of the missile trajectory in the direction of the target and separates a few seconds after vertical launch. Until mid-course, the weapon is guided inertially using updated target data transmitted by the engagement module via the multifunction radar. During the phase of flight to the target, guidance is achieved by an electromagnetic active seeker that provides a highly accurate all-weather capability.
It has a range of over 100 km and a speed of 4.5 mach