JASSM's Flight Test Demonstrates Unique Missile Capabilities
ORLANDO, FL, 14-FEB-01 --
The success of the Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile's (JASSM's) Development Test 1 (DT-1) on January 19 demonstrated several unique performance characteristics attributable to the system's Anti-Jam Global Positioning System (AJGPS), imaging infrared (I2R) seeker, and automatic target correlator (ATC). The combination of the three enables the missile to perform highly accurate strikes.
To demonstrate the robustness of the system, the missile's flight test route and target were both modeled well in advance of the day of the test using the JASSM mission planning system. On the morning of the test, the models were loaded into the missile prior to release from a U.S. Air Force F-16.
After release from the F-16 fighter, JASSM autonomously flew the planned route using the Inertial Navigation System comprised of the AJGPS and a Ring Laser Gyro Inertial Measurement Unit. Although other weapons use GPS for navigation, JASSM uses an imaging infrared seeker along with real-time processing which enables the JASSM to:
- Locate target scenes during the missile's terminal phase
- Calculate an aimpoint, and
- Steer the missile to the calculated aimpoint.
Lockheed Martin's ATC algorithms use an insensitive, redundant approach and real-time processors to provide a robust system that significantly reduces the missile's impact circular error probability (CEP) any time of the day or night. This allows the missile to hit a precise spot, such as a hardened bunker, using a model that was built months earlier. JASSM's high accuracy combined with its 1000-pound penetrating warhead means that our forces will have a stand-off weapon that can be used to destroy hardened targets as well soft targets.
JASSM's operator friendly mission planning system is fully compatible with existing Air Force systems. A typical mission can be planned in less than 30 minutes. The DT-1 success is partly due to the diligent effort of the Mission Planning team, said Major James Krafcik, Mission Planning Integrated Products Team (IPT) lead for the JASSM Joint Program Office. We have been consistently delivering on time both our precision targeting and route planning software modules. Integration of these modules into the Air Force intelligence and aircraft mission planning infrastructure has been demonstrated and is proceeding superbly.
JASSM is demonstrating its ability to carry out complex missions, said Larry Lawson, Vice President of Strike Weapons at Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control. This system is unique in that it has the range necessary to keep our aircrews out of range of enemy air defenses, and is totally autonomous, which allows aircrews to launch the weapon and then concentrate on the rest of their mission. Once launched, the low observable properties of JASSM ensure the missile survives to make it to the target and even handle enemy jammers. When the missile arrives to the target area it has the accuracy and warhead performance to take out targets ranging from soft to hard and small to large. No other missile system has this combination of range, survivability, and lethality.
JASSM is also the first Department of Defense weapon system to have a fully insensitive warhead. Tests at the Naval Air Warfare Center at China Lake have demonstrated that JASSM's warhead will not explode if exposed to fire or intense heat, if struck by small arms fire, or if in close proximity to another exploding warhead. This is critical to safe operation on planes, ships, in aircraft hangars, or in storage facilities.
For DT-1, JASSM was launched from an F-16 flying at Mach 0.80 and 15,000 feet. JASSM is the only cruise missile that operates from both fighters and bombers. To date, fit checks and flight tests have been performed on the F-15, F-16, F/A-18, B-1, B-2, and B-52. Flight tests are ongoing from the B-52 with upcoming tests scheduled on the B-1 and B-2.
Follow-on tests of JASSM will continue to expand the seeker/ATC capabilities, missile flight envelope, and will include live warhead performance.
Located in Orlando, Florida, and Dallas, Texas, 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. For the JASSM program, Missiles and Fire Control is supported by Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company - Palmdale, which is located in Palmdale, California.