Skip to comments.First Evaluation Firing of an ASMPA by a Mirage 2000N (French missile)
Posted on 11/26/2010 5:58:46 AM PST by sukhoi-30mki
First Evaluation Firing of an ASMPA by a Mirage 2000N
(Source: French Ministry of Defence; issued Nov. 25, 2010)
(Issued in French only; unofficial translation by defense-aerospace.com)
The first evaluation firing of the new weapon system formed by the Mirage 2000N and the ASMPA enhanced stand-off missile took place on Tuesday, Nov. 23. This test was code-named Topaze.
The aircrafts 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 refuellings from a C135 tanker belonging to the 2/91 Bretagne In-Flight Refuelling Group, low-level penetration, terrain following etc.
At the end of these five hours, the crew fired the ASMPA missile (without its nuclear warhead) which followed its intended flight trajectory. Mission accomplished for this initial trial!
The 3/4 Limousin fighter squadron invested a lot [of effort] in this project, the units commanding officer, Lt. Col. Luc Pernet, said in an interview for the official air force magazine.
Other agencies that shared in the projects execution are the air forces strategic command assets; the DGA armaments agency with the missile test center in Biscarosse and the Horus program management office; missile prime contractor MBDA and, finally, the French navy whose assets patrolled the firing area.
ASMPA is a new missile, fitted with a nuclear warhead and 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.
A French air force Mirage 2000N nuclear strike fighter shows off an ASMPA supersonic stand-off missile on its centerline pylon. (French AF photo)
I always liked the Mirages, with the exception of the F1.
The Mirage 4000 would have been quite an aircraft. Did any ever get manufactured?