Pike’s Lockheed JASSM

Published 12:00 am Friday, April 27, 2001

team takes pride in test

Staff report

A missile assembly team from Pike County is taking pride in a successful test flight performed Thursday.

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Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control’s Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile (JASSM) successfully demonstrated end-to-end performance by destroying an air defense target in a flight test at White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico.

"Our JASSM team is extremely pleased to be part of the successes witnessed today," Lockheed Martin Pike County Operations plant manager Randy Stevenson said Thursday afternoon.

"Being the last to touch the product gives us a great sense of success," Stevenson said.

The missile was launched from a U.S. Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcon flying at Mach 0.80, at an altitude of 2,800 feet above the New Mexico Desert. After weapon release, the missile autonomously navigated and guided to the mission planned target.

To accurately strike and destroy the target, JASSM used its Anti-Jam Global Positioning System (AJGPS) guidance system enroute to travel into the target area. In the terminal phase, JASSM used its imaging infrared seeker and automatic target correlator algorithms to precisely locate the target aimpoint. The live warhead detonated upon impact, destroying the air defense target.

Having already completed 14 flights ­ four powered and 10 unpowered ­ this test was designed to be a further demonstration of JASSM system performance. JASSM demonstrated its airworthiness in earlier missions and, now, the focus of the flight tests is on destruction of targets.

Each development test flight will be an end-to-end test, with successive tests demonstrating performance against a broader target set.

"Today’s test demonstrated the teamwork of the Air Force and Lockheed Martin test team, said Larry Lawson, vice president of Strike Weapons at Lockheed Martin, who was at the test site on Thursday. "The team is highly motivated to deliver this capability to our users."

In the previous powered flight tests, JASSM established the viability of the seeker and mission planning software, and demonstrated the missile’s ability to fly to and hit the target.

"Each success we experience solidifies the customer’s confidence in JASSM," said Mike Inderhees, Lockheed Martin JASSM program director. "Today we proved the warhead is effective against its target. Ultimately, destruction of the target is the most important aspect of the JASSM missile’s mission. This is a resounding success."

Terry Little, JASSM program director, said Lockheed’s customers in the Air Force must be able to rely on JASSM to destroy intended targets.

"This successful development test showed us the lethality of the missile and shows that the team is continuing good progress toward a production decision," Little said.

The Thursday flight followed a successful Separation Test from a B-52 on Wednesday. During Wednesday’s test, the JASSM cleanly separated from the wing pylon of a B-52 over White Sands Missile Range and performed unpowered aerodynamic maneuvers.

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 makes it extremely difficult to defend against.

With JASSM on the aircraft, 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 and defeat the target. The 2,250 pound 14-foot long missile is designed to launch from the F-16, B-52, F/A-18, B-1, and B-2.

Located in Orlando, Fla., and Dallas, Texas, Lockheed Martin Missile 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.