BRUSSELS, Belgium: A supersonic missile traveling nearly 5,000 miles per hour was destroyed by a French anti-missile system during recent NATO exercises.
Operating off the Scottish coast, a French anti-missile ship, the FS Forbin, fired an Aster 30 combat missile, destroying the supersonic target, which was skimming the water’s surface.
The successful downing of the supersonic missile was the first combat-use of the French missile, developed by Eurosam, jointly owned by European defense contractors MBDA Missile Systems and Thales.
The missile is operated by the Principal Anti Air Missile System, an anti-aircraft system in use by the navies of France, Britain and Italy.
The exercise included 15 ships, ten aircraft and some 3,000 military personnel from 10 NATO countries. It was led by the U.S. Navy.
The successful destruction of the supersonic missile followed a series of earlier tests at sea.
“France confirms the state-of-the-art capabilities and excellence of its maritime assets in the field of air defense,” the French navy and 6th Fleet said Thursday in a statement.
“It also demonstrates its ability to interact within an international maritime force to provide joint defense action against supersonic and ballistic missiles.”