France Announced the Test of a Nuclear-Capable ASMPA Missile
MBDA’s airborne missile was fired from a Rafale jet that took off from Air Force Base 120 in Cazaux, south-western France, according to a ministry statement. The maiden test-firing of the ASMPA was carried out in December 2020.
The ministry’s statement indicates that the latest qualification firing marks the start of the production phase for the renovated ASMPA missile before its potential induction in the Strategic Air Force and Naval Air Force.
The ASMPA is a supersonic cruise missile, the advanced version of Air-Sol Moyenne-Portee (ASMP), and can be equipped on nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarines and naval air carriers Dassault-Breguet Super Etendard, Dassault Mirage 2000N, and Rafale fighter aircraft. A ramjet motor powers the missile.
France is the only country in the EU that possesses nuclear weapons capability. The ASMPA entered service in 2009, and the French Air Force now has 54 of them.