France tests infrared-guided missile

Dec. 16, 2010 at 10:01 AM
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PARIS, Dec. 16 (UPI) -- Sagem and the French defense procurement agency have conducted the first night launch of an AASM missile with infrared terminal guidance.

The company said the night launch of the air-to-ground weapon from the DGA's test center in southwest France was part of export evaluation tests.

The 511-pound missile was launched with a vertical trajectory more than 31 miles from its target.

The missile's infrared imager identified its target several seconds before impact and its image processing algorithms enabled it to hit the target within 1 yard.

"This successful test reflects the AASM's ability to carry out precision strikes to within 1 meter, day or night, and also confirms the ability of the AASM family to meet the operational requirements of air forces in the export market," Sagem, part of the Safran group, said in a news release.

The AASM weapon family, developed and produced by Sagem, comprises a guidance kit and range augmentation kit fitted to existing bombs. Offering a range exceeding 30 mile and capable of being fired off-axis in relation to the target, day or night and under all weather conditions, even at low altitude, the AASM features high precision and terminal trajectories perfectly adapted to all types of targets.

The AASM guided weapon is currently being used in Afghanistan on Rafale multirole fighters deployed by French armed forces.

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