The integration and final assembly of the 1,000th Aster missile was completed at MBDA’s Selles-Saint-Denis R&D and production facility in the Centre region of France.
Production of Aster started in 2006 at a low rate of five missiles per month. In 2008 this increased to a medium rate of 15 per month. Since 2011, full series production of over 20 missiles a month has been successfully achieved to meet customer delivery requirements. This achievement has been made possible thanks to MBDA’s international programme management skills which have served to optimise the involvement of major European defence industry businesses such as Avio, Roxel, Thales, Selex, Sagem and Simmel.
To ensure that the highest standards for all the leading-edge technologies involved were maintained as production was ramped up, MBDA introduced and implemented a quality improvement plan across the entire Aster industrial chain. This plan has been implemented since 2008. Ongoing testimony to the success of this initiative has been provided by the results of the last 22 consecutive firings, all of which were fully successful. In addition to providing a clear demonstration of product robustness, these firings have also provided evidence of Aster’s operational flexibility and its unique capabilities with regard to the interception of more challenging current threats, such as those posed by ballistic and supersonic sea-skimming/cruise missiles.