ORLANDO, Fla., Sept. 14 (UPI) -- Lockheed Martin's offering for the U.S. Army's Joint Air-to-Ground Missile seeker competition has surpassed 8,600 hours of testing.
Lockheed said its cooled seeker provides longer range targeting than an uncooled seeker, which is critical to aircrew safety in the presence of air defense systems.
Also, a cooled seeker delivers clearer imagery than an uncooled seeker.
"We have thoroughly tested our JAGM seeker in all operational conditions, confirming our decision to go with the cooled seeker design," said Frank St. John, vice president of tactical missiles in Lockheed Martin's Missiles and Fire Control business.
"A cooled seeker provides the increased performance that is required to destroy the full range of JAGM targets in all operational conditions at safe standoff ranges."
The seeker tests included lab, van, tower and captive flight tests on Lockheed Martin's tri-mode seeker variants. Hardware-in-the-loop environmental tests and missile flight tests, including 3,000 hours of testing during the program's Technology Demonstration phase, were also performed.
Testing also included data collection against a variety of targets over a range of environmental and countermeasure conditions.
The Army is expected to issue a contract this year.