Lockheed Martin, NetFires LLC Successfully Conduct Second Loitering Attack Missile Boost Vehicle Test
DALLAS, TX, 05-APR-06 --
Lockheed Martin [NYSE: LMT] conducted a successful Boost Test Vehicle (BTV) flight test of its Loitering Attack Missile (LAM) recently at Eglin Air Force Base, FL. This was the second flight test of the new square body LAM airframe. All test objectives were achieved.
This flight validated the new airframe’s aerodynamic properties, including deployable wing and control actuation systems. Two more tests will follow later this year, the first being a Control Test Vehicle (CTV) similar to this test but including a turbojet from Technical Directions, Inc. The remaining test in this series will be a Guided Test Vehicle (GTV) with a turbojet and LADAR seeker, and will be against a real target, but using a camera instead of a warhead to photograph the target.
“The LAM BTV performed as designed and provided important data for subsequent LAM flights,” said Col. Doug Dever, project manager of Non Line-Of-Sight – Launch System (NLOS-LS).
Similar to the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency’s (DARPA) NetFires predecessor, the new square-body LAM body features more room for fuel, bigger wings and bigger fins, but the same Aerojet General Corporation annular rocket motor. The fins were fabricated by Lockheed Martin Aeronautics’ Skunk Works facility in Palmdale, CA, using advanced low-cost production technology. The test flight’s launcher was a collaborative Container Launch Unit (CLU), as it was provided by the Army’s NLOS-LS Project Office and fabricated by its Prototype Integration Facility.
“This test builds on our previous Army, DARPA and Air Force flight tests to reaffirm the maturity of our LAM design, particularly assent and transition control algorithms,” said Anne Johnson, director - LAM program at Lockheed Martin Missile and Fire Control. “The new square body LAM uses all the same subsystems and gives us more internal volume for fuel. We can emphasize this test as yet another success in our current Pre-PDR Flight Test series to demonstrate LAM readiness for SDD.”
The NetFires LLC, a limited liability company formed by Lockheed Martin and Raytheon [NYSE: RTN], was established to develop the NLOS-LS consisting of the LAM, the Precision Attack Missile (PAM) and the CLU.
In operation, LAM is the loitering capability of NLOS-LS. It is projected to loiter, locate, identify and destroy fleeting high-value mobile targets at extended range. Its range and unique ability to search large areas for moving or poorly located targets then decisively engage these targets will provide the Army an artillery solution virtually independent of target location error. LAM is a responsive cruising artillery munition, ideal for hunter-killer missions where automatic target recognition finds and identifies exactly the target of interest. If the network is up, it can report these targets and be controlled by a man in the loop. NLOS-LS is an integral part of the Army’s Future Combat Forces and Modular Forces.
Lockheed Martin designed loitering munitions have achieved multiple successful flight tests with multiple airframe configurations. LAM’s LADAR seeker has been successfully demonstrated under previous DARPA NetFires and U.S. Air Force Low-Cost Autonomous Attack System (LOCAAS) programs. Loitering munitions with ATR technology will provide early entry forces with responsive artillery to hold moving or stationary enemy forces at risk anytime anywhere in the area of interest.