Air-Sol Moyenne Portée
|Type||Medium-Range nuclear air-to-surface missile|
|Place of origin||France|
|In service||May 1986|
|Warhead||TN 81 nuclear warhead, 100 kt to 300 kt of TNT (variable yield)|
|300 km (500+km for ASMP-A version)|
|Maximum speed||up to Mach 3|
Mach 4-8 (ASN4G)
|Dassault Mirage IV, Dassault Mirage 2000N, Dassault Rafale, and Dassault Super Étendard|
The Air-Sol Moyenne Portée (ASMP; medium-range air to surface missile) is a French nuclear air-launched cruise missile. In French nuclear doctrine it is called a "pre-strategic" weapon, the last-resort "warning shot" prior to a full-scale employment of strategic nuclear weapons. The missile's construction was contracted to Aérospatiale's Tactical Missile Division, now part of MBDA. The missile cost $600 million to develop.
ASMP entered service in May 1986, replacing the earlier free-fall AN-22 bomb on France's Dassault Mirage IV aircraft and the AN-52 bomb on Dassault Super Étendard. About 84 weapons are stockpiled. Carrier aircraft are the Dassault Mirage 2000N, Rafale and Super Étendard. The Mirage IVP carried the ASMP until retired in 1996.
In 1991, 90 missiles and 80 warheads were reported to have been produced. By 2001, 60 were operational.
An advanced version known as Air-Sol Moyenne Portée-Amélioré ASMP-A (improved ASMP) has a range of about 500 kilometres (310 mi) at a speed of up to Mach 3 with the new TNA (Tête Nucléaire Aéroportée) 300kt thermonuclear warhead. It entered service in October 2009 with the Mirage 2000NK3 of squadron EC 3/4 at Istres and on July 2010 with the Rafales of squadron EC 1/91 at Saint Dizier. 54 ASMP-A have been delivered to French army.
ASMP and ASMP-A is 5.38 m long and weighs 860 kg. It is a supersonic standoff missile powered by a liquid fuel ramjet. It flies at Mach 2 to Mach 3, with a range between 80 km and 300 km (ASMP)/ 500 km (ASMP-A) depending on flight profile. Warhead was a single variable-yield 100 to 300 kiloton TN 81 for ASMP, and a single variable-yield 100 to 300 kiloton TNA (Airborne nuclear warhead) for ASMP-A.
The studies for the successor to the ASMP-A, dubbed ASN4G (air-sol nucléaire de 4e génération), have already begun. ASN4G refers to Air-Sol Nucléaire Fourth-Generation. The aim is to design a missile capable of either high supersonic (Mach 4-5) or hypersonic speeds (Mach 7-8). The ASN4G could be fitted to the Rafale fighter jet and the requirement is for a missile range much greater than 1,000 kilometers. ASN4G is being developed by ArianeGroup and is planned to be operational by 2021.
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- "Now France Wants Hypersonic Missiles by 2021 | The National Interest".
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