What is ASMPA Missile?

May 24, 2024

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
  • Versions:
    • 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 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.