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Aster 15 Sylver launchers on the Charles de Gaulle

The Sylver (SYstème de Lancement VERtical) is a vertical launching system (VLS) designed by DCNS. The launcher comes in several variants, each distinguished by their height. A-35 and A-43 were developed for launching short range surface-to-air missiles, the A-50 for the long-range PAAMS air defense system, and the A-70 launcher for larger missiles such as the SCALP Naval land attack cruise missile. The numbers refer to the approximate length of the missile which can be accommodated, in decimetres, i.e. the A-43 can hold missiles which are up to 4.3 metres long whilst the A-70 can accommodate missiles up to 7 metres long.

The launchers come in eight-cell modules, except A-35 available in four-cell modules, with each eight-cell module occupying six square metres of deck space. Inner size cell is 60 cm long and 56 cm wide, and each cell has its own exhaust vent. Crotale NG (VT1) missiles can be quad-packed in one cell.

The primary application of the launcher has been the MBDA Aster missile. The Sylver, together with the Aster, is the primary component of the PAAMS naval anti-air warfare system. Using PAAMS, up to eight missiles can be launched in 10 seconds.

The French Navy has initiated studies to convert the SCALP EG missile to be capable of launch from the Sylver. This missile, the SCALP Naval, would give France a land attack capability in the mould of the U.S. Tomahawk missile. It would also be attractive to the Royal Navy, whose Type 45 destroyers will be equipped with the Sylver launcher, although the A50 type cannot take this missile at present.

Vertical Missile Launcher Sylver[1]
A-35 Mica VL Quad VT1 - - -
A-43 Mica VL Quad VT1 Aster 15 - -
A-50 Mica VL Quad VT1 Aster 15 Aster 30 -
A-70 - - - - SCALP Naval


The basic unit of Sylver VLS is an eight-cell module fitted with two rolls of 22-inch missile cells surrounding the uptake for exhaust gas, and the specifications for different models is as follows:

Vertical Missile Launcher Sylver
Model # Length Width Height Weight
A-35 2.6 meter 2.3 meter 5.3 meter 7 ton
A-43 2.6 meter 2.3 meter - 8 ton
A-50 2.6 meter 2.3 meter - -
A-70 2.6 meter 2.3 meter 7.6 meter 12 ton


Vertical Missile Launcher Sylver Modules installed
A-35 A-43 A-50 A-70
 French Navy Charles de Gaulle Nuclear aircraft carrier
 Marina Militare Cavour Light aircraft carrier
 French Navy/ Marina Militare FREMM class Multi-mission frigate
 French Navy/ Marina Militare Horizon class Anti-air warfare frigate
 Republic of Singapore Navy Formidable class Multi-mission frigate
 Royal Navy Type 45 class Anti-air warfare destroyer
 Royal Saudi Navy Al Riyadh class Multi-mission frigate

See also[]


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