Lockheed Martin JASSM Continues Flight Successes
ORLANDO, FL, 30-JAN-06 --
The Lockheed Martin [NYSE: LMT] JASSM™, a stealthy, air-to-surface missile, recently conducted two successful flight tests at the White Sands Missile Range (WSMR), NM.
The first launch, on January 25, was from a B-1 aircraft and the second, on January 27, was from an F-16. Both missiles hit their mark. The two successes are on the heels of a successful 2005 flight test program where the missile scored nine successes in 11 tests. The tests bring JASSM’s overall record to 33 successes in 43 flight tests, with 11 of the last 13 flights being successes.
“We are very pleased with the continued flight test successes that validate the efforts of the Air Force and Lockheed Martin to improve quality and reliability, as we committed to Congress,” said Randy Bigum, vice president of Strike Weapons at Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control. “Additionally, we expect the AFOTEC report to favorably report on JASSM’s effectiveness, availability, reliability and logistics.
“Much of the quality and reliability success we’ve experienced is a direct result of the partnership between Lockheed Martin and its JASSM supplier teams,” Bigum explained. “This partnership began in the engineering manufacturing and development phase, when we built in stress testing to improve product reliability and robustness. Our focus now is on continued reliability growth and quality sustainment.”
The recent tests were Product Upgrade Verification (PUV) flights and introduced features that improve the missile’s reliability and affordability. Another activity in this flight is the introduction of the electronic safe and arm fuze (ESAF) which as part of a risk reduction, tested internal communication to the missile.
To further reliability growth efforts, the Air Force conducted three ground tests at the Eglin Air Force Base, FL, JASSM functional ground test facility last November and December. The missiles were environmentally conditioned prior to the tests, and a simulated flight was performed which exercised all missile functions except warhead and fuze performance. Following the test, the missile was returned to the factory and components were removed, inspected and tested.
“This testing is more cost effective than flight testing, and provides significant insight into missile performance and reliability since the missile is not destroyed during the test, said U.S. Air Force Col. Jim Geurts, JASSM program manager and Long-Range Missile Systems Group Commander at Eglin AFB, FL. “Data from these tests and the post-test inspections are used to enhance JASSM reliability. System discoveries uncovered in testing can be corrected and inserted into production to ensure the warfighter has the most reliable system possible.”
Additional flight and ground tests are planned throughout 2006. The flights include additional PUV flights, Weapon System Evaluation Program flights and JASSM Extended-Range flights. Additional JASSM and JASSM-ER ground tests are also planned.