JASSM destroys hardened target

Published 12:00 am Thursday, June 1, 2000

News Editor

A missile assembly team at the Lockheed Martin Pike County Operations Plant is celebrating another success of the JASSM missile as the Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile (JASSM) again successfully demonstrated end-to-end performance by destroying a concrete bunker in a flight test at White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico on Thursday.

"The JASSM team and all of the employees at the Pike County plant are extremely happy with the test results," said Randy Stevenson, plant manager.

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The missile was launched from a U.S. Air Force B-52 bomber. In this test, the B-52 flew at Mach 0.85 at an altitude of 30,000-ft. mean sea level above the New Mexico desert. After weapon release, it deployed its wings and tail and autonomously navigated and guided to the pre-mission planned, hardened bunker target. The missile flew for 23 minutes, navigated through 10 waypoints and traveled approximately 195 miles.

To accurately strike and destroy 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 in the enclosed facility, destroying the target.

"This test proves we are committed to producing the most state-of-the-art weapon that our customers deserve and demand," Stevenson said. "It is a clear indication of the hard work and dedication of our employees. We are very excited about the performance of the weapon and are looking forward to the program being awarded sometime this year."

JASSM demonstrated its airworthiness in earlier missions by completing 22 flights: six powered; four unpowered; and 12 jettisons. This flight was designed to further 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 provide the Air Force and the Navy with the lowest production price, Lockheed Martin has made the necessary investment to produce their development missiles on production tooling. The test vehicle for this mission was the eighth vehicle built on production tooling at Lockheed Martin’s Pike County facility.

"The success of today’s test on the B-52 also brings the program 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 are very pleased with the success of the JASSM program and look forward to starting low rate initial production (LRIP) in the fourth quarter of this year."

The success of DT-3 is testimony of the JASSM destiny," said Colonel Tim Moore, USAF JASSM JPO program manager. "The warfighters’ weapon of choice has now been proven on both fighter and bomber platforms. We all can be proud of the extra ordinary efforts of the entire JASSM team."

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.

"The B-52 team now knows firsthand that JASSM performs as planned," said Mike Inderhees, Lockheed Martin JASSM programdirector. "We are demonstrating a highly effective missile performing flawlessly against a wide variety of targets from multiple platforms.

"The hardened target flight test is another JASSM success for the Air Force – Lockheed Martin JASSM Team," Inderhees added.

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 anti-jam GPS satellite navigation system, state-of-the-art infrared seeker, 1,000-pound penetrator warhead, and stealth airframe make it extremely difficult to defend against.

With JASSM, pilots will be able to launch the missile from well outside the range of enemy air defenses, and it will cruise autonomously in weather, day or night, with pinpoint accuracy and defeat the target. The 2,250 pound 14-foot long missile is designed to launch from the B-2, B-52, B-1, F-16 and F/A-18 E/F aircraft.

Located in Orlando, Fla., 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, Md. Missiles and Fire Control is supported by Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company – Palmdale, located in Palmdale, Calif. Lockheed Martin Corporation, also headquartered in Bethesda, is a highly diversified global enterprise principally engaged in the research, design, development, manufacture and integration of advanced-technology systems, products and services. The Corporation’s core businesses are systems integration, space, aeronautics, and technology services.