Air-sol moyenne portée

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ASMP
ASMP-A Nuclear Supersonic Cruise Missile.jpeg
TypeMedium-range supersonic stand-off nuclear missile
Place of originFrance
Service history
In serviceMay 1986-present[1]
Production history
DesignerAérospatiale
Matra
MBDA France
ArianeGroup (ASN4G)
ManufacturerMBDA France
ArianeGroup
Specifications
Mass860 kg[2]
Length5.38 m
Diameter380 mm
WarheadTN 81 nuclear warhead, variable yield 100 to 300 kilotons of TNT (420 to 1,260 TJ)

Engineliquid-fuel ramjet
Operational
range
300 km (500+ km for ASMP-A version)[3]
Maximum speed up to Mach 3[4]
Mach 4-8 (ASN4G)
Launch
platform
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 manufactured by MBDA France. 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 cost of the missile development in 1988 was $600 million[1] or $1.37 billion in FY 2021.

ASMP entered service in May 1986. An improved version, the ASMP-A, was developed between 1997 and 2009.

Development[edit]

ASMP[edit]

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.

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.[5] It flies at Mach 2 to Mach 3, with a range between 80 km and 300 km for the ASMP and 500 km for the ASMP-A depending on flight profile. The ASMP uses the TN 81 warhead, which has a variable-yield of 100 to 300 kilotons of TNT (420 to 1,260 TJ).

In 1991, 90 missiles and 80 warheads were reported to have been produced. By 2001, 60 were operational.[6]

ASMP-A[edit]

An advanced version known as Air-Sol Moyenne Portée-Amélioré ASMP-A (improved ASMP) has a range of about 500 kilometres (310 mi)[7] at a speed of up to Mach 3 with the new TNA (Tête Nucléaire Aéroportée) 300kt thermonuclear warhead.[3] It entered service in October 2009 with the Mirage 2000NK3 of squadron EC 3/4 at Istres and in July 2010 with the Rafales of squadron EC 1/91 at Saint Dizier.[8] 54 ASMP-A have been delivered to French air force.[9]

ASMPA-R[edit]

The ASMPA-R (renovated) project, launched in 2016, will see the missile's range extended and a new 300kt thermonuclear warhead added.[5]

Successor[edit]

The studies for the successor to the ASMP-A, dubbed ASN4G (air-sol nucléaire de 4e génération), have already begun.[10] The aim is to design a missile capable of either high supersonic (Mach 4–5) or hypersonic speeds (Mach 7–8).[11][12] The ASN4G could be carried by the Rafale fighter jet and the requirement is for a missile range much greater than 1,000 kilometers.[13][14] ASN4G is being developed and will be manufactured by ArianeGroup.[15]

Operators[edit]

 France

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Dickson, David (12 February 1988). "Anglo-French nuclear missile under study". Science. 239 (4841): 720–1. Bibcode:1988Sci...239..720D. doi:10.1126/science.239.4841.720. PMID 17832931. Archived from the original on 24 September 2015. Retrieved 22 August 2015 – via HighBeam Research.
  2. ^ "ASMP/-A | Missile ThreatASMP-A | Missile Threat". Archived from the original on 2013-01-21.
  3. ^ a b "French Air Force evaluates ASMPA enhanced stand-off missile". 1 July 2001. Retrieved 24 January 2016.
  4. ^ "Cruise missiles". Defence Ministry, France. Retrieved 15 August 2018.
  5. ^ a b Auran, Jean Francois (October 2021). "French Strategic Forces: Nuclear Defenders". Air Forces Monthly. p. 33.
  6. ^ Norris, Robert S.; Arkin, William M.; Kristensen, Hans M.; Handler, Joshua (1 July 2001). "French Nuclear Forces, 2001". Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists. Archived from the original on 24 September 2015. Retrieved 23 June 2015 – via HighBeam Research.
  7. ^ "Ancile".
  8. ^ Robert Hewson, "French ASMP-A missile enters service". Jane's Defence Weekly. July 14, 2010, p. 14.
  9. ^ "French Air Force evaluates ASMPA enhanced stand-off missile" (PDF). 19 February 2015. Retrieved 31 January 2019.
  10. ^ "Onera Explores Mach-8 Missile Engine Technology". 8 August 2017.
  11. ^ "L'ASN4G sera le futur missile des forces aériennes stratégiques". 21 November 2014.
  12. ^ https://www.frstrategie.org/publications/notes/web/documents/2015/201510.pdf[bare URL PDF]
  13. ^ "Former procurement official joins MBDA as France eyes new munitions". 8 December 2017.
  14. ^ "Quel avion pour emporter le futur missile nucléaire hypersonique des Forces aériennes stratégiques?". 8 March 2018.
  15. ^ "Now France Wants Hypersonic Missiles by 2021 | The National Interest". 4 February 2019.

External links[edit]