France has no plans to send the SAMP/T air defense system to Ukraine, the country’s defense ministry said.
“France has no plans to send the SAMP/T air defense system to Ukraine. Statements made in a recent interview have been misunderstood,” the French Defense Ministry said on Twitter.
Ukraine expects these state-of-the-art SAMP/T air defense systems to enhance its ability to protect the skies against Russian drones, cruise missiles, and ballistic missiles.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky expressed this wish during the G7 summit in early October 2022. Kyiv then asked the French and Italian leaders to “accelerate the supply of SAMP/T to Ukraine”.
However, instead of the extremely modern long-range SAMP/T, France has only agreed to provide Ukraine with a few short-range Crotale NG batteries taken out of the stockpile.
The SAMP/T air defense missile system (known by the French Air Force as the Mamba) was produced by the European corporation Eurosam (an amalgamation of the companies Aerospatiale, Alenia, and Thompson-CSF in 1989).
SAMP/T plays an important role in NATO’s joint ballistic missile defense system in the European region, which is highly effective against maneuvering targets over a wide area.
The power of the SAMP/T lies in the Aster-30 two-stage solid-fuel long-range interceptor missile, in which the starter motor is 2.3 m long, 340 kg in weight, and has an operating time of 3.5 seconds. . After burning out, it is detached and the main engine is activated.
The main engine has a weight of 110 kg, and a length of 2.6 m. The missile body has 4 rectangular stabilizers and 4 rudders at the tail. The missile is guided to the target by a combination of the inertial first stage and active radar late stage.
The Aster-30 missile has a range of 3 – 120 km, a maximum altitude of 30 km, a maximum speed of 1,400 m/s, an effective kill range for aircraft of 3 – 100 km, or 3 – 35 km with ballistic missiles.
The interceptor is equipped with a high-precision complex control system PIF/PAF, which allows for correcting errors in guidance and increases the mobility of the missile.
The SAMP/T system uses an upgraded version of the Arabel radar with improved features developed according to the Aster-30 missile, to increase its ability to combat high-altitude targets moving at a fast speed.
The Arabel radar’s 3D phased array antenna has a rotation speed of 1 rpm, working in the frequency range of 8 – 13 GHz with an azimuth of 360 degrees and elevation from -50 to +90 degrees.
Radar Arabel can monitor, track 130 different targets, and guide missiles to hit 10 targets at the same time. This radar system is capable of detecting tactical ballistic missiles at a distance of 600 km.
The self-propelled launcher of the SAMP/T system is mounted on a Renault-TRM-1000 or Astra/Iveco truck chassis, consisting of 8 launchers operating under the command of a combat control vehicle – FCU (Fire Control Unit).
The command vehicle and the Arabel radar can control six launch vehicles within a 10 km radius, simultaneously guiding 16 missiles to many different targets. The SAMP/T can operate as a stand-alone or as part of an integrated air defense system.