What is ASMPA Missile?


10:35 AM

1 min read
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France has marked a significant milestone in its defence capabilities by successfully testing the updated ASMPA supersonic missile, capable of carrying a nuclear warhead.

About ASMPA Missile:

  • The Air-Sol Medium Range (ASMP/ASMP-A) is an air-launched land-attack supersonic cruise missile that carries a nuclear payload
  • It is a central component of France’s nuclear deterrent force.
  • Versions:
    • The ASMP, originally developed in 1986, had a range between 80 and 300 km, and used the TN 81 warhead of variable yield, between 100 and 300 kilotons of TNT. 
    • ASMP-A, an upgraded version of the ASMP, arrived into French service in 2009. This version had an extended range of up to 500 km, and supported a new 300 kt thermonuclear warhead. 
    • The ASMPA-R project is a renovated version of the AMSPA intended to add additional range and support another advance in its warhead. 
  • Features:
    • It is 5.38 m in length, 0.38 m in body diameter, and has a launch weight of 860 kg. 
    • It is an inertial-guided, air-to-surface missile most likely directed by terrain-mapping and a pre-programmed onboard computer
    • The motor assembly is comprised of a solid-propellant engine which fires after the missile has been released from the aircraft.
  • Upon ignition, the missile accelerates to Mach 2.0 in five seconds, after which the booster cartridge is ejected from the ramjet exhaust nozzle.

Then, the liquid (kerosene)–powered ramjet motor takes over and accelerates to a maximum speed of Mach 3.0, depending on the altitude.

Q1: What is a Cruise Missile?

Cruise missiles are unmanned vehicles that are propelled by jet engines, much like an airplane. They can be launched from ground, air, or sea platforms. Cruise missiles remain within the atmosphere for the duration of their flight and can fly as low as a few meters off the ground. Flying low to the surface of the earth expends more fuel but makes a cruise missile very difficult to detect.

Source: France Conducts Successful Test of ASMPA Supersonic Nuclear Missile Amid Global Tensions