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, 150 kt or 300 kt of TNT (variable yield)|
|300 km (500+km for ASMP-A version)|
|Speed||up to Mach 3|
|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 earlier Mirage IVA was retired in 1996, although Mirage IVP photo reconnaissance aircraft continued in French Air Force service until 2005.
ASMPA 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 (ASMPA) depending on flight profile. Warhead was a single 300 kt of TNT TN 81 for ASMP, and a single 300 kt of TNT Airborne Nuclear Warhead (TNA).
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.
The studies for the successor to the ASMP-A, dubbed ASN4G, 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)
- Dickson, David (12 February 1988). "Anglo-French nuclear missile under study". Science. Retrieved 22 August 2015 – via HighBeam Research. (subscription required (. ))
- "French Air Force evaluates ASMPA enhanced stand-off missile". 1 July 2001. Retrieved 24 January 2016.
- Norris, Robert S.; Arkin, William M.; Kristensen, Hans M.; Handler, Joshua (1 July 2001). "French Nuclear Forces, 2001". Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists. Retrieved 23 June 2015 – via HighBeam Research. (subscription required (. ))
- Robert Hewson, "French ASMP-A missile enters service". Jane's Defence Weekly. July 14, 2010, p. 14.
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