Rome, 20th-21st April 1993

Official Record

Office of the Clerk of the Assembly of WEU




Tuesday, 20th April 1993


Current state of industrial studies on anti-missile systems in Europe


Industrial co-operation in limited anti-missile defence

Mr. ZALONIS (President of Eurosam, Italy). -

1. Eurosam: Aerospatiale (France), Alenia (Italy) and Thompson (France) joint venture Eurosam (ES) is a "groupement d'interet economique" (GIE) established under French law in 1989 by Aerospatiale, Alenia and Thomson-CSF to negotiate and manage the contracts for studies, development and production of surface-to-air defence systems for short- and medium-range, naval and ground-based applications, financed by Italy and France in equal proportions.

Such systems represent a family of surface-to-air systems to counter the future threat of the years beyond 2000 (FSAF). The family has a basic system structure of a fire control unit, a vertical launcher and a missile, each constituting a sub-system. The sub-systems (seven in total) and their assemblies are designed to ensure maximum commonality through the various applications.

Eurosam is in charge of the overall management of the contracts and holds the system design responsibility. Eurosam is staffed with highly-qualified personnel from the three members. Its offices are located in Chatillon (Paris) near the Franco-Italian Government programme office and the two French members.

As prime contractor, Eurosam is the natural interface for the Franco-Italian programme office for reports about progress of work, release of deliveries and contractual aspects.

As system design authority, Eurosam carries out the system studies, sub-systems and their interface specifications, system evaluation through simulation, system qualification, testing, etc. Eurosam is also responsible for the interfaces between the anti-air warfare systems (AAWS) and the ship combat system or the army's C3I. An important role is played by system simulation programmes. The performances of each system in various battle scenarios are continuously checked by means of the simulation whose reliability is progressively increased as experimental values replace the design ones.

The members are responsible for the development of the various sub-systems, for their qualification, for the specification of their assemblies, etc. For each sub-system there is a member as main sub-contractor of Eurosam and another member, of a different nationality, acting as co-contractor.

To ensure an in-service date (ISD) at the end of the century, the industrialisation phase will be launched shortly, and will be conducted in partial overlap with the final part of the development phase.

In addition to the contracts with the Franco-Italian administrations for the development activity, Eurosam has also been tasked to perform the definition studies of two medium- range naval anti-air warfare systems: the Franco-Italian SAMP-N and the British LAMS. Both are conducted with the aim of using the FSAF building blocks possibly modified to meet their specific requirements. The LAMS (local area missile system) study is conducted in co-operation with United Kingdom industry: British Aerospace (BAe) and Marconi. The system activities are performed in Eurosam by a technical team that is principally staffed with BAe and Marconi representatives.

The complementarity of the members' capabilities helped but was not essential. What was particularly important was their system and prime contractorship experience. In fact, at equipment level, the three members have largely sub-contracted the development activity to specialised industries of the two nations. It helped to reduce costs and risks by involving first-class companies such as SDE and DCN in France, OTO, SNIA, ELT, LITTON, SMA, etc. in Italy

2. The FSAF programme

The FSAF systems are the response to the converging requirements expressed by France and Italy in the 1980s for apparently different missions:

- the naval requirement for surface-to-air defence against subsonic and supersonic missiles as well as against aircraft, in replacement of naval

Crotale and Albatross systems;

- the ground requirement for the defence of the army corps and air force high value sites against aircraft, subsonic and supersonic missiles, in replacement of ground-based Crotale and Hawk systems.

Preliminary studies conducted separately in the two

countries showed that the characteristics requested of these systems could lead to similar basic structures within which technologically-advanced solutions allowed the creation of a common trunk.

France and Italy signed an umbrella MOU in 1988 followed by a specific MOU in 1989 authorising the procurement agency to launch with Eurosam the development of three systems:

- surface-to-air anti-missile systems (SAAM) for naval applications, in two similar configurations for

France and Italy;

- surface-to-air medium-range ground-based (SAMP-T) system in the same configuration for the Italian and

French army and for the French air-force, as well as the definition study of:

- surface-to-air mid-range naval (SAMP-N) system for the French and Italian navies, also based on a fully common configuration.

The contracts notified in 1990 to Eurosam for these activities are worth about F 10 billion. The qualification of the systems is planned for the second half of the decade, closely followed by the delivery of the operational systems, the first of which is the SAAM for the aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle to enter service in 1998.

The threat against which surface-to-air defence is directed is that of the years 2000 and beyond. Its sophisticated characteristics can be identified as follows:

- all-weather environment

- massive saturating attacks

- omnidirectional attacks

- severe ECM environment

Moreover, the targets are characterised by:

- a small radar cross section

- high speed

- manoeuvring trajectories

- sea-skimming trajectories

- diving trajectories

The response to such a complex requirement is provided by a modular architecture of the various systems, composed of:

- a fire control unit organised around a multifunctional radar (in some cases supported by other sensors), managed by a command and control system largely common to all anti-air warfare systems;

- a missile with a front part and a cruise engine common to all systems and a booster dimensioned for the range of the mission; the missile is fired from a vertical launcher, adapted to ground or naval applications, suitable for the omnidirectional attack.

Additionally, the ground system will be easily air transportable with good roll on/off characteristics. It will require a low number of personnel.

The equipments/sub-systems that constitute the common trunk of the various anti-air warfare systems are:

- the multifunction radar Arabel, used in the French SAAM and in the Franco-Italian SAMP-T;

- the multifunction radar Empar used in the Italian SAAM and in the Franco-Italian SAMP-N;

- the Aster missile that with the smaller booster (Aster 15) is used in the naval systems (SAAM'S and SAMP-N) and with the larger booster (Aster 30) is used in the medium-range systems (SAMP-T and SAMP-N);

- the C2, based on the Magics consoles, and Mara computers family, used in all FSAF systems with slightly different missions;

- the vertical launchers, structured in two configurations: naval and ground-based.

Also the software development allows for a large amount of commonalities. This is particularly applicable to the C2 functions over the various systems and is the natural consequence of the sub-systems/equipments programmes.

The LAMS definition study launched in 1991 for the British and Spanish branch of the FAMS programme was also based on the utilisation of the FSAF building blocks, modified as necessary to meet a requirement that was somewhat different from the Franco-Italian branch (SAMP-N). Unfortunately, Spain had budget problems and did not enter the programme even though satisfactory work had been agreed for its industry. The LAMS study was continued with the United Kingdom taking over the Spanish share.

When approaching the conclusion of SAMP-N and LAMS studies, the United Kingdom, France and Italy decided to unify their requirements for the future frigates programme. The result was that at the end of last year the two requirements for an MR-SAM converged into a single trinational staff requirement (TSR) and Eurosam was redirected to complete the LAMS study identifying the modifications needed by the FSAF building blocks to satisfy the TSR. The final report is to be issued by mid-1993.

3. The future of FSAF

As I said before for the LAMS programme, the FSAF family of anti-air warfare systems can be utilised, with a particular integration of its building blocks, possibly modified to meet special requirements, also for other similar missions.

Eurosam has proposed with GMDL its SAMP-T to United Kingdom MOD in response to an RAF requirement for the anti-air warfare defence of a number of high value sites, as a replacement of the ageing Bloodhound system. Combining the naval opportunities of FAMS with the ground-based systems, it seems possible that the United Kingdom could become, in the future, a third partner for France and Italy for the total programme. Another European country that has clearly stated its interest for the FSAF programme is Germany. Germany, as Italy and many other countries, needs to provide for the replacement of its Hawk systems. Germany has in mind to carry out a definition study based on the utilisation of as much as possible of the FSAF building blocks. The study has been postponed because of financial difficulties but the interest in the FSAF progress is kept alive with special regard to the possible evolution of the SAMP-T system.

Eurosam is convinced that, for its sophisticated characteristics, the FSAF family could be advantageously adopted also by the United States for its ground-to-air limited anti- missile defence needs. If it was prepared to recognise this European capability, significant two-way industrial co- operation, in line with the requests of the European partners, could be really developed between the two sides of the Atlantic.

The events of the Gulf war have shown the risk of a TBM attack and the need for deployment of defence forces far away from domestic borders. The Gulf war has also demonstrated the performance of early-warning satellites (DSP type) to detect the ballistic missile launchers and to alert the ATBM batteries through the Milsatcom (DSCS) satellites. Some European governments have already taken into account the former two aspects in their staff requirements for their M-SAM. This is the case of Germany for its TLVS mentioned above.

Others may review their requirements in the near future. This could be the case for the United Kingdom that appears likely to postpone the procurement of its M-SAM, also to be able to update the requirement against which to buy it.

The ATBM role has not yet been specified in the need expressed by France and Italy in the FSAF programme. The SAMP-T design enables it to ensure its own defence against TBM. A full local ATBM role can achieved through this system growth capability!

In view of the above, Eurosam is prepared to perform a parametric study for the definition of the improvements needed by the SAMP-T building blocks to cope with the various steps of an increasing TBM threat.

To this end, Eurosam is enquiring among its current and potential SAMP-T customers about their established or potential requirement in this area so as to cover them all in the scope of the study.

Above a certain level of threat, the architecture of the overall ATBM system will include EW satellites, military communication satellites, data-processing and control centres and ABM batteries.

The system performance will be therefore enhanced if SAMP-T is integrated in an adequate European architecture including EW satellites linked to military communication satellites (like existing/planned Skynet, Syracuse, Sicral) required to relay data and to broadcast the warning messages, the EW satellites being possibly devoted to the areas of interest to WEU.

A major benefit pursued by international co-operation is the cost savings offered by the sharing of non-recurring costs and the reduction of recurring ones, due to the scale factor. When this co-operation concerns several European countries another major objective should be aimed at. This is the interoperability factor. It may take some time to achieve it but European defence will be approached jointly by the European Community sometime in the future. The fact that a part of the Community will have already chosen to equip itself with defence systems using as much as possible of a common trunk will be a major asset.

We deeply believe in this common approach; so much so that for Eurosam's motto we have selected "Our job is European defence".