SAMP/T Mamba vs Patriot PAC-3 in Saudi Arabia? It is indeed possible…

Until March 21, 2024, the SAMP/T Mamba and PAAMS anti-aircraft and anti-ballistic systems, and the Aster family anti-aircraft missiles, were considered, most often, on the international scene, as secondary players.

If MBDA's Aster 15 and 30 equip more than forty surface ships, and 23 land-based ground-air batteries, in around ten countries, the system is far from overshadowing the American Patriot, of which more than 280 batteries were purchased by around twenty countries, while the SM-2 and the naval ESSM also equip the ships of around twenty Marines.

These systems could rely on the aura of efficiency surrounding American equipment, but also on the famous “Combat proven”, which plays a determining role in the acquisition of defense equipment on the international scene. Conversely, the Aster missile and the Mamba and PAAMS systems, although they had shown excellent performance during tests and exercises, were uncommitted.

The Mamba battery sent by Rome and Paris to Ukraine, and the use of Aster by British, French and Italian destroyers and frigates, against Houthi drones and cruise missiles, have, for several months, restored the image of these systems , these having shown excellent efficiency, having nothing to envy of that of American equipment.

But it was undoubtedly the successful interception, on March 21, of three Houthi anti-ship ballistic missiles, by the French frigate Alsace, which transformed, in a few hours, the image of the French missile and related systems on the international scene. In a few minutes, the Aster had joined the Patriot in the field of combat-proven anti-ballistic systems.

New anti-ballistic success of the Aster 30 and Red Sea missile by the British destroyer HMS Diamond

Since then, the Aster 30 missile has confirmed that the successful interception of the three Houthi ballistic missiles by Alsace was neither fortuitous nor even lucky. Indeed, on April 24, the British destroyer HMS Diamond, one of the 6 Type 45 anti-aircraft destroyers of the Daring class, close to the French and Italian Horizon frigates, carried out the interception of two more Houthi ballistic missiles.

Type 45 Sea Viper e1622818312390 Anti-aircraft defense | Defense News | Saudi Arabia
SAMP/T Mamba vs Patriot PAC-3 in Saudi Arabia? It's actually possible... 6

Houthi missiles targeted the MV Yorktown, an American-flagged ship, with 18 crew members of American nationality, and four of Greek nationality, on board.

HMS Diamond used its Sea Viper system, the British designation for PAAMS (Principal Anti Air Missile System), to successfully intercept the two Houthi ballistic missiles, each following a differentiated and simultaneous attack trajectory.

A few minutes later, the Sea Viper, along with the British destroyer's 30mm guns and Phalanx system, were again used to counter an attack by four Houthi drones against the same target.

This is undoubtedly another important success for the European surface-air system, and for the Aster 30 missile, especially since this is not, a priori, the version intended for ballistic interception.

Moreover, the British Type 45 destroyers must soon evolve to receive this extended anti-ballistic capability through the Aster Block 1 missile, then, in the future, the Block 1NT, designed to intercept missiles with a range of 1 km .

Saudi Arabia would seek a European alternative to the Patriot system, considered too expensive

Regardless of this success, Riyadh would have recently undertaken to initiate certain consultations with European manufacturers, to acquire new air defense systems. It is in any case what the site thinks it knows, it is true that they are often well informed on this type of subject.

Patriot PAC 3 e1684245912115 Anti-aircraft defense | Defense News | Saudi Arabia
SAMP/T Mamba vs Patriot PAC-3 in Saudi Arabia? It's actually possible... 7

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  1. Not to mention that the Patriot is known for its blah targeting which requires throwing two missiles per interception……
    We saw that on the mamba it's OS (moreover respect to Alsace for having thrown 3 aster on 3's still stupid and there's no time if it screws's express the confidence they have in the aster 30)

  2. Hopefully the route of the mamba and the aster is the same as the Rafale, except that our US friends, helped by the Germans (conditions of the European shield project) do not allow it, let us hope…..

  3. Missile production time constraints are often mentioned in the press. We also talk about the production of radars.

    Are the lead times for the production of launchers longer than for missiles?


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