Talk:Aster (missile family)

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The article mentions that the Aster 30 AAM has a range of up to 120km, whereas the Standard SM2 (block 3 i believe) has a range stated of some 167km - approximately 50% longer. Whilst no more than a naval enthusiast and with no experience in the area, i would have thought that such a range reduction in comparison would have at least led to a mention somewhere. After all, isnt it easier to destroy an inbound aircraft with many ASMs on their racks at long range, rather than dealing with multiple, agile and faster targets at a shorter range? In essense, is the short range of the Aster missiles (the 15 effectively being point-defence only) a concern? Kirby Rourke 11:42, 23 June 2006 (UTC)

It's a complex issue. Missile range is not as simple as just "how far will the missile go" - it's also a matter of how well it can maneuver when it gets there. Many missiles are next to useless at their maximum stated ranges because they arrive with no energy left an maneuver, meaning they can't actually hit anything. Some manufacturers will give this 'useless' range as the range of their missile to make it sound more impressive, while others will state the maximum 'useful' range of the missile. I have no idea if that is the case with the Aster vs SM2, just saying you should be aware of the possibility that you are not necessarily comparing like with like. There is also a question of target acquisition and guidance; unless your target is obliging enough to travel at high altitude, your ship's surface radar isn't going to see it at anything like 167 km so having missiles with that range is rather pointless. BobThePirate 13:57, 1 January 2007 (UTC)

Well, it gets even more complex than that.
  • First of all, there are substantial discrepancies in reported ranges. Aster 30 actually has ranges estimated from 80-120km. SM-2 actually has two or three common estimates flowing in the "marketplace". The most common being 74km and >138km (for some reason numbers in the middle aren't very popular). IMO, the lower range is more consistent with alternate measures, since most agree the SM-1 has a range of 46km, and the SM-2 has about 60% more range due to the more efficient INS/CG/SARH guidance.
  • Second point, the Aster 30 is a lighter missile than the Standard.
  • Furthermore, any missile is a mix of compromises. An applicable one is that Standard is slow for a long range SAM - only Mach 3.5 peak. This actually benefits it in range, because low-speed flight is more efficient. A similar effect occurs with the HQ-9 and Tien Kung II. Few would think China and Taiwan has better rocket tech than Russia and the US, yet both have a nominally 200km range (matching the S-300PMU2 and longer than the Patriot PAC-3's "big" missiles). The trick is that they are slower (~Mach 4 vs Mach 5 or Mach 6).
  • Taking an extreme, the massive 9A82 Giant has a remarkably low range of 100km. This is no doubt partially due to its enormous speed of Mach 8. Since the Russians were interested in shooting down Pershing IRBMs, the compromise suited them fine, and the SA-12B came out as the first conventional ABM system against IRBMs.
  • Tactically, long ranges are somewhat useful. At the very least, they can force the enemy down, and that forces them to waste fuel. Some attacking missiles have shorter ranges when fired at lower altitudes (the Kh-22/AS-4 family being an example). With active homing SAMs and datalinking, the ship's surface radar is less important. Though pK would no doubt degrade severely, you could in principle shower the enemy with your weapons using intermittent updates from an AEW helicopter or aircraft.
  • In practice, however, there is a point when you just have to say "enough" as you design missiles. In practice, the enemy can plain outrange your SAM with relative ease. Other factors, like a fast speed so your director can re-allocate the guidance uplink faster. Or a smaller missile so you can put cram more onto the ship and take up less volume. Kazuaki Shimazaki 15:46, 11 January 2007 (UTC)
The reason why the range in the middle might not be popular is perhaps because of the difference between SM-2 MR and SM-2 ER - the extended range variant could be the source of the higher quote. But thankyou kindly for your input, i hadnt considered the speed of the missile as a major determinate as i figured it wouldnt be important if the target was comng right at you, however in the role of area defence, the target might not actually be the ship (or whatever), rather some third target which still needs to be protected. Your reply was enlightening :). 03:27, 16 May 2007 (UTC)


This article could benefit from a new paragraph that objectively compares the euro Aster with the american Standard SM-2 and SM-3 systems. In weapons markets it is conventional wisdom that european products look good on paper and in tests, but can never match the combat performance, delivery on schedule and reliability of US products (e.g. JAS-39 / Eurofighter / Rafale are still not fully fielded, yet cannot match the vintage-based F-16 Block 6x and F-15E). 12:13, 13 March 2007 (UTC)

Eurofighter can't match the F16 or F15E? That's absurd. Eurofighter would wipe the floor with either one in air to air combat. The F15E probably outdoes it in air to ground, but that's hardly anything to write home about since Eurofighter isn't really a dedicated strike aircraft like the F15E is so you aren't comparing like with like. You might as well say it's inferior to the Galaxy because it doesn't carry cargo. BobThePirate 11:57, 1 April 2007 (UTC)

As one commenter has already demonstrated, a section like that would just turn into an edit-war between nationalists that would never ever ever end. Just put a link to the Standard article at the bottom and people can compare themselves. (talk) 22:40, 24 June 2008 (UTC)

Characteristics Section - are you sure?[edit]

1) Can the onboard radar really track 300 objects? 2) What is meteo, in the context of the role of an onboard radar system? Davidelit 07:07, 30 July 2007 (UTC)

Onboard means shipboard in this context. I'm pretty sure "meteo" means it can act as a weather radar to detect masses of clouds and rain. --Kazuaki Shimazaki 09:47, 30 July 2007 (UTC)
That makes more sense. I was wondering how the manufacturers bent the laws of physics to fit all that capability on a 180mm antenna! In any case, that section is ambiguous at best, and presumably belongs in an article discussing the entire weapons system, including the radar. Unfortunately, I'm not the person to write it as I don't have any info... Davidelit 11:32, 30 July 2007 (UTC)
I just changed "onboard" to "shipboard" - even though the Aster system seems to have a land variant, it seems primarily navalised so i've replaced it with that to (hopefully) reduce confusion. Whether it deserves its own article is still open for debate. (talk) 10:32, 21 April 2008 (UTC)

"Additionally the American Mark 41 Vertical Launching System can accommodate Aster 30." - and not documented / referenced.Physically size wise - yes it is smaller, however, have any efforts to integrate the missile into this launcher exist ? Wfoj3 (talk) 00:17, 20 May 2014 (UTC)


Please don't revert my edit again without commenting here. I will explain my issues with the article.

During the 1980s, the predominant missile was the short-range missile, like the Roland or Crotale, with ranges up to a dozen kilometres.

This is factually wrong. The dominant missile in the British, US and USSR navies was a long range SAM, such as Standard, Sea Dart or S300. If you object to my labelling of the French navy as 'second tier' then ok, I doubt many people knowledgeable in the field would agree with you, but enter an alternate wording, don't revert the whole edit, because the article as it stands implies that the missile loadout of the French navy was indicative of that of all navies in general, and this simply isn't the case.

During the 1990s, very-short range systems came to complete the defensive perimeter in a five kilometre radius.

I didnt actually edit this, but reading it again, it too is bizarre - these sorts of short-range systems have been around since the 60s, eg. Sea Cat.

The 2000s are expected to see the replacement of the present medium-range defence systems (ranges between 30 to 100 kilometres) coming to obsolescence. The current range of SAM systems, like the American Sea Sparrow or the Standard-Tartar, the British Sea Dart, or the Italian Aspide, or the land-based systems Hawk and Patriot, cannot be modernised indefinitely,

Actually Standard (no one calls it 'standard-tartar,' it was just developed from tartar) is not planned to be replaced in the near future, which is why I removed it. Indeed, new standard variants are being developed.

To reiterate, if you just object to my saying the French navy is in a class below that of the USN, then fine, but change that word, not the entire edit, which includes many necessary corrections. (talk) 23:34, 24 June 2008 (UTC)

  • The French Navy is not "second tier" by any standard. In some capabilities, it exceeds the Russian Navy and the Royal Navy, and is second only to the US Navy (in the sense of being exceeded in all respects. And even that could be debated), which cannot possibly set a standard.
  • We are talking about missiles capable of intercepting anti-ship missiles. The Sea Cat is not capable of intercepting Exocet missiles.
  • Your point about the Standard missile only confirm what the article says: it cannot be modernised further. Mentionning the USAyan system is important here because it explains why a simple purchase of USAyan ammunition was not performed. Rama (talk) 07:19, 25 June 2008 (UTC)
  • Whatever, change the word if it offends your patriotism so much. The USN is incomparably superior to any other navy on earth (for instance, it possesses 10 carriers of 100,000t displacement, compared with France's 1, only semi-functional, 50,000t carrier), but if you want to lump the second tier navies like the Royal Navy (and I'm British; it shouldnt be a matter of nationalism, it's just objective fact), the Russian and Chinese Navies and the French Navy in with it because it makes you feel better, that can be accomodated without changing the meaning of the entire sentence.

Further, to clarify, do you actually disagree with the crux of my edit, ie. that short range missiles like Crotale and Roland did not dominate in the 80s?

  • Sea Cat was designed to shoot down missiles, ref. British Destroyers and Frigates by Norman Friedman. You are right that (amazingly) it can't shoot down Exocet, a missile designed two decades later. Exocet isn't the only missile in the world; Sea Cat was designed to shoot down anticipated Russian missiles of the 50s and 60s, not French missiles of the 80s.
  • It doesn't at all. Standard is being modernised further. Look at the Standard missile diambiguation page - "SM-6 Standard ERAM, is an upgraded version of the SM-2 under development...". Your continuing to argue this point is utterly ridiculous. (talk) 08:44, 25 June 2008 (UTC)
  • I am not calling the US Navy a "Bloated, ill-deployed military force of a paranoid country set on bullying the entire world". I expect the courtesy to be returned and major powers not to be gratuitously insulted.
  • Crotale and Roland dominated the European forces. We are not talking about the Chinese army here.
  • The Sea Cat might have been designed for it, but it did not. The Exocet is from the 70s, not the 80s. And the problem is not the missiles that you can shoot, but the ones that you cannot. If you really are British and interested in naval missiles, you ought to know.
  • The problem equipment available for purchase, not hypothetical equipment. We know that in the dream world, the US military has railguns and killer satellites. But we live in the real world, where it is wasting its ressources in Iraq and purchasing Chinese ammunition. The French have to do with what is on the table now, not what might be on the table in the future (if the USA agreed to sell it, which is far from granted). Rama (talk) 14:33, 25 June 2008 (UTC)
  • All navies are second tier to the US navy. I'm not american, and I know this. Arguing against it is folly.
  • Crotale and Roland may haev been prominent in Europe (and certain export markets). If that is the case, specify that is was prominent in Europe, not dominant (for the whole world).
  • The Sea Cat is an old system, designed for destroying stuff in existence and near-existence. In the 60's. Just like missiles are today (you even said that the Aster was designed with the same purpose in mind). So what? This is obvious. The point was that short-range missiles are not new. It could be said that point defence anti-missile missiles are taking on the role of current and past Phalanx guns. The point is, the role isnt new. It may be true, however, that Aster does it so much better than ever before - if that's the case, then mention that. But its not new.
  • The SM-6 Standard missile doesnt seem as far fetched as a railgun, given that it uses a radar from a missile that has been around for a while (AIM-120C) on a body that has been around even longer. The comparison is spurious.
  • I am a third party to this 'debate', so i'll leave you both to return to your discussion. (talk) 05:40, 3 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Nobody is arguing that the US Navy is not the most powerful navy existing now. Someone is, on the other hand, arguing that it is wrong to insinuate that other Navies are therefore irrelevant. It makes particularly no sense to mentally oppose Aster-equipped navies to the US, given that they are allied.
  • The middle-range version if the Aster is not only capable of point defence, it can protect a fleet. The short-range role is filled by other systems like Mistral mountings or rapid-fire guns.
  • Both SM-6 Standard missile and railguns were unavailable when the Aster went into service, and remain so. The SM-6 Standard ERAM is not expected before 2010 at best. European navies have Horizon frigates nearing commission, and will soon have FREMM too. Given the present environment and the example of INS Hanit, it is no wonder that they are unwilling to commission large ships with self-defence systems made of paper. Rama (talk) 19:43, 3 November 2008 (UTC)

radar section[edit]

the radars sections isn't based on facts. to which radar does the quoted numbers fit? arabel, empar, herakles or sampson? e.g. quotes >100 tracks and 10 engagements for arabel and up to 300 tracks/ 12 engagements for empar. Radar2010 (talk) 21:28, 15 March 2010 (UTC)

Block 2[edit]

I'm seeing mention starting to emerge of an "Aster Block 2" developed as an ABM missile for medium range ballistic missiles. Details seem pretty sketchy, but it seems to involve a kinetic kill head which maneuvers purely by firing little mini jets. Seems like this would be worth including. BobThePirate (talk) 12:10, 8 February 2011 (UTC)

Yep, it appears rely totally on an endo-/exo-atmospheric KV, suggesting it's for operation where there's either no, or very little air.Z07x10 (talk) 22:00, 23 May 2014 (UTC)

Aster 45[edit]

I read somewhere that there was a proposed Aster 45 variant, with even longer range specifically designed to shoot down satellites. I don't know if research ever went forward but it might be interesting to note if someone knows a good source. Antarctic-adventurer (talk) 20:32, 16 June 2011 (UTC)

Where?Other dictionaries are better (talk) 09:33, 17 June 2011 (UTC)
See here under 'Anti-Ballistic Missile Capability' and here to name but two. There are many references out there on the web. It seems that there was an Aster 60 proposed as well. The key part is: "It's hoped to follow this with a "Block 2" version capable of dealing with much more sophisticated and longer-range (1,000+ km) ballistic missiles, this will use a new "Aster 45" missile with an enlarged booster stage and if the go-ahead is given in 2002 it could enter service around 2010-2012. As of June 2005, Aster 45 has no firm timeline." Antarctic-adventurer (talk) 10:36, 17 June 2011 (UTC)
So the theUK and France want to join in the ABM game too. I thought Aster 30s were enough. (talk) 11:42, 17 June 2011 (UTC)

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Map with Aster operators[edit]

The Map with Aster operators, labeled "Map with Aster operators in blue" appears not to match the lists of current and potential future operators. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:44, 4 November 2016 (UTC)