ORLANDO, Fla., Nov. 24 (UPI) -- Lockheed Martin's joint air-to-ground missile struck a moving target nearly 4 miles distant in a company-funded test in New Mexico.
The complex flight test, at White Sands Missile Range, N.M., demonstrated the ability of the system's imaging infrared sensor in the missile's cooled tri-mode seeker to lock on before launch at extended range.
Lockheed said the test also demonstrated the ability of the millimeter wave radar sensor to simultaneously track a nearby moving tank, as well as the ability of the two sensors to discriminate targets and to hit the target of choice.
"This test was an extremely challenging first-time event, considerably more complex than any of the three contract-funded tests," said Frank St. John, vice president of Tactical Missiles at Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control. "In addition to confirming the ability of our cooled tri-mode seeker to detect and lock onto threats from safe standoff range, we also demonstrated multi-sensor correlation and high-fidelity target discrimination."
Lockheed said the tactically configured JAGM was fired from a static Lockheed Martin Hellfire M299 launcher. The cooled I2R sensor acquired and locked on to a stationary main battle tank prior to launch from about 3.7 miles. Following launch, the I2R sensor guided the missile to a lethal hit. Concurrently, the MMW sensor detected and tracked a nearby secondary target, a moving main battle tank.
Coupled with an Aug. 2 target hit at 9.9 miles in a contract-funded test of the semi-active laser seeker, this latest shot completed the process of demonstrating the performance of Lockheed Martin's tri-mode seeker, it said.
Threshold aviation platforms for JAGM include the U.S. Army's AH-64D Apache attack helicopter, MQ-1C Extended Range Multi-Purpose unmanned aerial system and OH-58D CASUP Kiowa Warrior armed reconnaissance helicopter, as well as the U.S. Marine Corps' AH-1Z Cobra attack helicopter; and the U.S. Navy's MH-60R Seahawk armed reconnaissance helicopter and F/A-18E/F Super Hornet jet fighter.
Initial operational capability of JAGM on the AH-64D, AH-1Z and F/A-18E/F is scheduled for 2016.