Lockheed Martin's JASSM destroys hardened target
5 June 2001
The Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile (JASSM) has been successfully demonstrated in an end-to-end demonstration by destroying a concrete bunker in a flight test at White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico last week.
The missile, made by Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control, was launched from a US Air Force B-52 bomber flying at Mach 0.85 at an altitude of 30,000 ft. mean sea level above the New Mexico desert. After the weapon was released, it deployed its wings and tail and autonomously navigated itself to the pre-mission planned, hardened bunker target. The missile flew for 23 minutes, navigated through 10 waypoints and travelled approximately 195 miles.
To strike the target, JASSM used its integrated inertial guidance unit/global positioning system (GPS) to navigate a preplanned route to the target area. Once in the target area, JASSM used its imaging infrared seeker and on-board, real-time automatic target correlator algorithms to precisely locate and guide the missile to the desired target aimpoint. The live warhead penetrated the concrete roof of the bunker and detonated inside, destroying the target.
JASSM has now completed 22 flights: 6 powered; 4 unpowered; and 12 jettisons. This latestflight was designed to demonstrate JASSM system performance by defeating a hardened target and testing a production representative missile from the B-52 aircraft platform.
Each development test flight will be an end-to-end test, with successive tests demonstrating performance against a broader target set, and from two aircraft platforms (F-16 and B-52). To cut down on production price, Lockheed Martin has made the necessary investment to produce development missiles on production tooling. The test vehicle for this mission was the eighth vehicle built on production tooling at Lockheed Martin's Troy, Ala., facility.
"The success of today's test on the B-52 also brings the programme closer to its platform integration goals," said Larry Lawson, vice president of Strike Weapons at Lockheed Martin. "We are showing that JASSM is the weapon of choice against a varied target set and will be operational on B-2, B-52, B-1, F-16 and F/A-18 E/F aircraft.
"This B-52 test, once again, puts all the elements together for a JASSM mission," said Brigadier General Randall K. Bigum, Director of Requirements at Air Force Air Combat Command, Langley AFB, Va. "The mission demonstrated the long range, precision and lethality that JASSM brings to the warfighter. This was the first launch of a full-up, live JASSM round from a bomber platform. We ... look forward to starting low rate initial production (LRIP) in the fourth quarter of this year."
In the previous live warhead flight test (DT-2), JASSM established the missile's ability to fly to, hit, and destroy surface targets when launched from an F-16 Fighting Falcon.
One of the Department of Defense's highest priority programmes, JASSM is designed to give Air Force and Navy pilots long-range standoff capability against a wide array of high value, heavily defended targets. Its anti-jam GPS satellite navigation system, infrared seeker, 1,000-pound penetrator warhead, and stealth airframe make it extremely difficult to defend against.
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