SAMP/T (christened MAMBA by the French Air Force) is the cornerstone of Italy and France’s contributions to the North Atlantic Alliance tactical ballistic missile defence capability. The French Air Force currently owns 7 MAMBA systems whilst the Italian Army owns 3 systems.
SAMP/T is a theatre antimissile system designed to protect the battlefield and sensitive tactical sites (such as airports and sea ports) against all current and future airborne threats, including cruise missiles, manned and unmanned aircraft and tactical ballistic missiles in the 600 km range class.
The system comprises a fire control system based on the ARABEL multi-function electronic scanning radar and a Vertical Ground Launcher mounted on Italian Astra/iveco and French Renault-KERAX 8x8 trucks and capable of firing eight missile in rapid sequence.
Operational evaluation of the system has been taking place in France and Italy with a series of successful test firings. During the latest firing on November 14th 2011, a French Air Force MAMBA (SAMP/T) system successfully intercepted a target representative of a ballistic missile. This was the second successful ATBM firing with a SAMP/T system, after the one that took place on October 18th 2010, on which occasion SAMP/T premiered an all-European anti-ballistic capability.