domenica, Dicembre 5, 2021

Anti-missile capability and advanced air defense for the Italian Armed Forces


In the third decade of September, the programs relating to the modernization and renewal of PAAMS air defense missile systems and LRR radars as well as the modernization, renewal and enhancement of the Defense Committees of the Chamber of Deputies and the Senate arrived in Parliament. the national air and missile defense capability to protect the national territory and the Atlantic Alliance and to guarantee theater protection to the forces deployed in areas of operation.

These are very important programs for the Italian defense, and beyond, which concern the Air Force, the Italian Army and the Navy.

PAAMS and LRR radar

The first program concerns the modernization and renewal of the Principal Anti Air Missile System (PAAMS) air defense missile systems and associated Early Warning Long Range Radar (LRR) type radars for long distance surveillance installed on the Orizzonte class units ( Andrea Doria ship and Caio Duilio ship).

The PAAMS Program (Principal Anti Air Missile System) has its origins in 1996 as a cooperation program between France, United Kingdom and Italy for the development and production of naval systems for air defense.

The program followed the FSAF (Family of Systems Surface-Air Future) cooperation program launched in 1988 as a cooperation program between France and Italy for the development, production and maintenance in service of a family of missile systems for land use. and naval.

Subsequently, in 2012, the two programs (FSAF-PAAMS) were unified under the aegis of the European OCCAR Agency.

The “Family” of future surface / air missile systems (FSAF) was developed in the late 1980s with the aim of replacing, starting in 2007, the HAWK air defense missile system, then in use with the Italian Army and the French Armèe de Terre, with a new advanced anti-aircraft and anti-missile system (SAMP-T) as well as with a medium-range naval system (SAMP-N) which subsequently evolved into PAAMS, intended for arm the Orizzonte class of anti-aircraft frigates (2 for the Navy and 2 for the Marine Nationale).

The «Family» is composed of three systems based on common base blocks: the first is a naval point defense system, called SAAM (Surface Air Anti Missile); the second is a naval M-SAM (surface-to-air medium range missile), for area defense included in the PAAMS (Principal Anti Air MissileSystem) program; the third, finally, is a medium-range anti-aircraft ground system, called SAM-P-T (Surface Air Average Range of the Earth).

The PAAMS can use the double Aster ammunition (A30 + A15) for local area defense and point defense. It includes two versions of multifunctional radar: EMPAR or European Multifunction Phased Array Radar of passive type installed on French and Italian HORIZON ships (Andrea Doria and Caio Duilio) and SAMPSON, an active Phased Array Radar for Type 45 or Daring class frigates. (UK).

New abilities to detect and engage fast targets
With regard to the operational purpose, the Defense Staff, in the report attached to the draft decree submitted for examination by the Parliament, in underlining the need for modernization of the current anti-aircraft defense systems present in the naval units Andrea Doria and Caio Duilio also indicates the need to acquire increasingly advanced capabilities in the discovery and contrast of particularly fast targets (high supersonic speed), such as intermediate and intercontinental ballistic missiles, also called strategic missiles capable of hitting very distant targets (Strategic Ballistic Missile, Sbm).

Modernization of the PAAMS systems of Nave Andrea Doria and Caio Duilio

Specifically, the program refers to the renovation and modernization of 2 PAAMS missile systems (including the 2 MFR multi-function radars), installed on the Andrea Doria and Caio Duilio naval units, ships built between 2000 and 2010 as part of a joint program between Fincantieri and Naval Group, with an “overall” length of 153 meters, a maximum width of 20.3 meters and a full load displacement of approximately 7,770 tons, capable of reaching a speed of 29 knots and an autonomy of about 7000 nautical miles (at a speed of 18 knots), whose main task is the anti-aircraft (and anti-missile) defense of the fleet with the integrated PAAMS missile system, capable (thanks to the aid of the EMPAR radar) to simultaneously track up to twelve targets and to use the Aster 15 and Aster 30 surface-to-air missiles from the VLS Sylver A50 vertical launchers installed in 6 modules, each of which consists of 8 A50s for a total of 48 units per ship (see i is the possibility to install two more modules if necessary).

The PAAMS anti-aircraft missile system consists of a Sylver A50 vertical launcher, an EMPAR multi-functional radar and an LRR S-1850 M long-range radar.
In particular, the European Multifunction Phased Array Radar (EMPAR) is a latest generation multifunction naval radar for medium-high tonnage ships The EMPAR can simultaneously carry out medium-range aerial surveillance and three-dimensional detection tasks, multiple target tracking and guidance anti-aircraft missiles for data uplink.

Aster is a family of surface / air anti-aircraft missiles built by Eurosam, a European consortium
formed by MBDA Italy, MBDA France and Thales. The family consists of two Aster 15 variants
with a range of 30 km and Aster 30 with a range of 120 km. Aster missiles are designed to be
used by both naval units and land launchers. Aster is a missile capable of intercepting
threats such as AIRCRAFT, UAVs, ballistic missiles, cruise missiles and anti-ship missiles at ranges up to 120 km.

Purpose of the program

The activities covered by the program in question concern, in particular:

a) the modernization and / or replacement of EMPAR and LRR S1850-M radar sensors. This intervention is aimed at maintaining the defense capability of the area against air and missile threats (Air Breathing Threats ABT) at least until 2035, in line with the operational life of the CL Orizzonte naval units;

b) the technological adaptation of the sensors in order to ensure a national naval anti-ballistic capability (MBDA) with particular reference to the contrast of theater ballistic missiles (Tbm) and intermediate and intercontinental missiles (Strategic Ballistic Missile, Sbm) .

In the report of the Defense Staff it is specified that the adjustment activity in question will allow to align the modernization at the level of the actuator (Aster 30 BlNT EC). It should also be noted that the program is in line with the multi-year program relating to the development and production of no. 5 Kronos Gran Mobile High Power (GM HP) surveillance and engagement sensors, on which the Defense Commission of the House and Senate have already expressed a favorable opinion in the current legislature.

The financial amount of the program

As specified in the DPP 2021-2023 (see page 63), the acquisition of the radars for the Naval Units is foreseen to be financed on the budget of the Ministry of Economic Development by means of the resources provided by the fund referred to in Article 1 co .14 of the 2020 LdB for 367.82 M €, on the budget of the Ministry of Defense by means of the resources brought from “needs” chapters for 134.32M €.

The overall cost of the program, according to the provisions of the DPP 2021-2023, is equal to 502.14 million euros. In relation to the costs of the program, it should be noted that the draft decree in question gives account of a further tranche, costing € 137.86M, aimed at the temporal extension of the technical-logistical support and subject to the identification of the necessary resources on separate financial instruments. Therefore, for the draft decree in question, the total cost of the program is therefore equal to 640 million euros.

Strengthening the national air and missile defense capability within NATO

The second multi-year program under consideration is aimed at modernization, renewal and
strengthening of the national air and missile defense capability, also in view of its strengthening in the more general integrated missile defense system of the Alliance (NATO integrated air and missile Defense IAMD).

The integrated air and missile defense of the Alliance (Integrated Air and Missile Defense – Iamd) pursues the objective of protecting both the European territory and the allied forces deployed in theaters
operational, from short and medium range ballistic missiles. It is considered one of the pillars for the pursuit of Collective Defense, of which the NATO Ballistic Missile Defense Bmd) is an integral part, consisting of the sensors and missile systems that the Member States offer as a national contribution.
The reference points of the allied BMD in Europe are the American Phased Adaptive Approach (Epaa), with the American Aegis Ashore system deployed in Romania and the Aegis BMD ships stationed in Spanish waters.
The IAMD radar system is located in Turkey, and the command and control infrastructure in Germany.

The European TWISTER initiative

The EU contributes to the missile defense of Europe with the Timely Warning and Interception with Space-based TheatER surveillance (Twister) project, within the framework of the Permanent Structured Cooperation (Pesco), the permanent structured cooperation on defense. Twister will develop a multi-role European endo-atmospheric interceptor by 2030, capable of responding to both conventional targets such as next-generation fighter aircraft, as well as threats from intermediate-range ballistic maneuvering missiles, hypersonic or supersonic cruise missiles, hypersonic gliders.

As regards Italy, the most important missile defense systems include Samp / t, developed through a joint program with France, Paams, the result of cooperation with Paris and London, and Saam / Esd (Surface Anti-Air Missile / Extended Self Defense), used on Fremm multi-mission European frigates. The Camm-er (Common Anti-air Modular Missile Extended Range) system is currently being acquired.

NATO At-Sea Demonstration / Formidable Shield 21 Exercise (ASD / FS 21)

Last May, the Atlantic Alliance’s naval exercise for integrated air and missile defense, called At-Sea Demonstration / Formidable Shield 21 ( ASD / FS 21), the main NATO air defense and anti-missile exercise conducted by NATO Command TRIKFORNATO (Naval Striking and Support Forces NATO) and organized by the US Navy’s Sixth Fleet.

Ten nations of the Alliance took part in this exercise, and in particular Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Spain, the United Kingdom and the United States, which sent ships, planes and land assets that s ‘train in two joint operational areas covering the North Atlantic. The purpose of the exercise was to demonstrate the interoperability of the Alliance Forces in a joint naval IAMD environment with real shots against ballistic and anti-cruise missiles, using NATO surveillance and command and control facilities.

During the operations the naval units were able to use different fire systems: from shooting with Dart ammunition (Driven Ammunition Reduced Time of Flight), passing through the Standard-2 missiles, the Evolved Sea Sparrow Missile (ESSM), up to the Asters 15 and 30 used against various targets, including ground-launched supersonic drones (type GQM-163A). During the exercise, a medium-range ballistic missile was intercepted by a US Navy Arleigh Burke-class destroyer using a Standard SM-3 missile.

Present and future of Italian missile air defense

Italy’s contribution in the field of integrated air missile defense is essentially expressed through the anti-missile and anti-aircraft defense missile systems acquired by Italy as part of the FSAF / PAAMS program (Famille de Systèmes Surface-Air Futurs / Principal Anti Air Missile System).

Specifically, these are: 5 SAMP / T batteries (Sol-Air Moyenne-Portée / Terrestre) supplied with the 4th
Anti-aircraft artillery regiment stationed in Mantua, to which is added a sixth battery that is not operational as it is incomplete in some components and used for training purposes (Italian Army); one system on the Cavour ship and two systems on the Orizzonte Class Naval Units, the Duilio and Doria ships (Navy); Aster 15 and Aster 30 missiles (Italian Army, Aster 30 and Marina Mili

tare both).

The CAMM-ER program

As for the future availability of the Defense, it should be remembered that in the current legislature the
Defense committees of the Chamber and the Senate have expressed a favorable opinion on the draft ministerial decree approving the multi-year program of A / R n. SMD 35/2019, relating to the development and approval of a short / medium range air defense system (Act no.

The program, aimed at the modernization and renewal of the air defense capability in the short-medium range, through the development and approval of the CAMM-ER (Common Anti-air Modular Missile – Extended Range) ammunition missile and its integration into certain systems of the Air Force and the Army, should be completed in 2023 for a total cost of the program of 95 million.

CAMM – ER ammunition is defined by the Defense as particularly effective against air threats such as interceptors, fighter-bombers, helicopters, UCAVs and UAVs, anti-radiation missiles, subsonic and supersonic missiles. Compared to the systems currently in use, the new weapon system would have greater interception distances with a consequent increase in engagement capabilities compared to the Aspide defense systems in service with the Army and the Air Force, now at the end of their life. operational.

Mid-life modernization for the Aster 15-30 and acquisition of the Aster 30 B1-NT

The Defense Staff indicates that the constant evolution of the threat requires further development interventions of the surveillance and engagement systems (radar), of the command and management systems and of the active contrast actuators (missiles). Specifically, these are interventions aimed at increasing the capacity of the assets already in the inventory and, at the same time, the quantitative expansion of capacities, through the purchase of new assets.

In particular, the program in question concerns:

  • the technological development of terrestrial systems with an increase in the capacitive perimeter, thanks to the capitalization of the development phase of the Aster 30 B1-NT missile and to the maximum exploitation of the new Kronos radar which, as part of the SAMP / T batteries of the Army, will carry out the surveillance and engagement function (the acquisition of 5 specimens was approved for the same number of SAMP / T batteries);
  • the modernization of terrestrial systems in the inventory, with the implementation of specific interventions and the replacement of some valuable modules (including the provision of logistical support);
  • the modernization of the missile fleet (with the purchase of the MLU-Mid Life Update kits for the half-life modernization of the Aster 15 and Aster 30 missiles already in inventory) and the purchase of the new Aster 30 B1-NT missiles;
  • the completion of the sixth Army battery (to be used also for joint training purposes);
  • the purchase of at least 5 SAMP / T batteries (New Generation standard) for the Italian Air Force;
  • the implementation of additional features being finalized.

Photo Militarypedia
Therefore, according to this program, the Army will receive modernized Aster 30 MLU missiles and newly produced Aster 30 B1-NT missiles to arm 6 operational batteries, the Air Force will acquire new operational capabilities thanks to newly produced Aster 30 B1- missiles. NT for at least 5 batteries, while the Navy will obtain for the two Orizzonte class units (Doria and Duilio) Aster 15 MLU / Aster 30 MLU resulting from the update of the existing missiles and Aster 30 B1-NT of new production, for the 8 + 2 FREMM class units Aster 15 MLU / Aster 30 MLU missiles and, finally, for the ship Cavour Aster 15 MLU missiles. At the moment there is no reference to the Multipurpose Offshore Patrol boats which in the Light Plus and Full variants are armed with two VLS A50s for a total of 16 missiles.

The costs of the program

The total cost of the program is estimated at € 3,050 million at the economic value of 2021, of which:

  • the first tranche of 2,378.37 M € will be financed on the chapters of the investment sector of the ordinary budget of the Ministry of Defense (chapter 7120-03) for 1,693.97 M € and on the budget of the MISE for a total of 684.4 M € (of of which 200 M € on the resources of the Fund pursuant to art.1 co. 140 of law no. 232/2016 and 484.4 M € on the resources of the Fund pursuant to art. 1 co. 14 of law no. 169/2019);
  • the subsequent tranches, for further provisional 671.63 M €, with which the completion of the capacity will be achieved, will be contracted subject to the identification of the necessary resources also by means of preventive remodeling / revision of other expenses agreed with the Ministry of economy and finance. In any case, the interventions financed with the first tranche are self-consistent.

The overall forecasting burden of the program includes the provision of logistic support of systems, by means of specific In Service Support contracts, until 2035.

The role of OCCAR and the commitment to our industrial sector

The acquisitions relating to the program take place using the European international agency OCCAR (Organization Conjointe de Coopération en matière d’Armement).

The Prime Contractor that contractually interfaces with OCCAR is the EUROSAM Economic Interest Group, consisting of MBDA Italy, MBDA France and Thales Group (with shares of 33.3% each).

MBDA Italia is linked, as subcontracting Italian industries, to AVIO (responsible for the production of the missile booster) and SIMMEL Difesa (responsible for the production of the missile warhead). Leonardo Company is the industry that develops and produces radars for land and naval systems and holds a stake in the share capital of MBDA.

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