Lockheed Martin's JASSM Performs Engineering and Manufacturing Development Controls Flight Test
ORLANDO, FL, 19-SEP-00 --
Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control's Joint Air-to-Surface Missile (JASSM) team launched its first Engineering and Manufacturing Development (EMD) controls flight test at the Eglin Air Force Base Test Range in Florida. Launched from a U.S. Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcon at Mach 0.8 flying 21,500 feet above the Gulf of Mexico, the advanced cruise missile successfully separated from the F-16, deployed its wings and tail, started its engine, and flew 9 minutes, 30 seconds of its planned 25 minute plus route.
The purpose of this test was to thoroughly evaluate the aerodynamics and flight control characteristics of the missile over the limits of the missile's envelope in terms of altitude, range, and speed. The missile's engine ignited at its programmed start altitude 40 seconds after launch and propelled the missile through a portion of course that included more than 10 waypoints or predetermined locations on the route. On-board navigation was provided by the missile's Global Positioning System (GPS)/Inertial Navigation System (INS). After successfully passing 2 waypoints, the missile experienced an anomaly that resulted in early mission termination.
The missile successfully demonstrated critical, first-time events associated with engine start, powered flight, GPS/INS navigation, and autopilot and flight control performance along with providing valuable data on the airframe's aerodynamic capability. The data obtained from this test helps us to not only understand the missile's capabilities, but also helps us to correlate its flight performance with the analytical models we use to predict performance, said Mike Inderhees, Lockheed Martin JASSM program director. We're disappointed that not all the test requirements were met, but this is now a discovery opportunity. We will look closely at the data obtained from our review process and use that data in later flights. We have a recovery team in place to retrieve the vehicle and we will examine it closely to determine exactly what happened.
This was the first of two controls tests. Terry Little, JASSM program manager for the US Air Force, said, These tests were designed to help reduce risk for later phases of the program. The more you can find out about a missile's performance early in the program, the better the missile will be later. We want to find out about the system's capabilities early on so we can make any necessary adjustments prior to starting full production.
One of the Department of Defense's highest priority programs, 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 GPS satellite navigation system, state-of-the-art infrared seeker, 1,000-pound penetrator warhead, and stealth airframe make it virtually impossible to defend against.
Pilots will be able to launch the missile from well outside the range of enemy air defenses, and it will cruise automatically in weather, day or night, with pinpoint accuracy to its target. The 2,250-pound, 14-foot long missile is designed to be launched from the F-16, B-52, F/A-18, B-1, and B-2.
Located in Dallas, Texas and Orlando, Florida, Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control, a world leader in electro-optics, smart munitions, advanced combat, missile, rocket, and space systems, is an operating element of Lockheed Martin Systems Integration business unit based in Bethesda, Maryland. Missiles and Fire Control is supported by Lockheed Martin Aeronautics - Palmdale, located in Palmdale, California.