France’s Direction générale de l’armement (DGA) announced on 23 March that the successful qualification firing of the Air-Sol Moyenne Portée Amélioré (ASMPA) air-launched cruise missile from a Dassault Rafale fighter aircraft had been carried out.
As part of the qualification of the renovated ASMPA weapon system, this is the second firing of an ASMPA-R missile. The first firing took place on December 9, 2020. This second successful firing makes it possible to start the production of series missiles for commissioning in the Air and Space Force and in the French Navy.
The ASMPA missile, which entered into active service in 2009 in the Air and Space Force and in 2010 in the French Navy, is part of France’s airborne strategic nuclear deterrent. It is a supersonic missile carrying a nuclear warhead, initially implemented on Mirage 2000N-K3 (until 2018) and now on Rafale F3R. ASMPA’s mid-life renovation program, launched in December 2016, aims to deal with obsolescence in advance and improve missile performance.