New Euro Missile Defense System
On 6 March, the French/Italian SAMP/T surface-to-air missile system successfully engaged and destroyed a theatre ballistic missile target in a live-fire test at the French Firing Range in Biscarrosse and proved its ability to work with NATO's interim Ballistic Missile Defence (BMD) command and control system. After several successful tests conducted with the NATO BMD Integration Test Bed, this live firing event linked the actual SAMP/T system to the NATO BMD chain of command. It was the final test of the SAMP/T system's capability and interoperability with NATO command and control ahead of the planned adding of the system to the inventory of NATO missile defence assets in late 2013. The SAMP/T is already in operations with the French Air Force and the Italian Army in an air defence role and is planned to reach its missile defence initial operational capability in 2013. The system is part of the French and Italian contribution to the NATO theatre missile defence architecture. It is the first European-made interceptor system that is going to be available.