PARIS, Oct. 18 (UPI) -- The French air force and navy have begun operational deployment of the infrared terminal guidance version of the Hammer AASM.
Developed and produced by Sagem, with French defense procurement agency DGA acting as program manager, the Hammer AASM is a family of air-to-ground weapons, comprising a guidance kit and range augmentation kit fitted to standard bombs, making the AASM a high-precision guided weapon with a range exceeding 37 miles.
The AASM IR version features a guidance kit with an infrared imager in the nose cone, along with the standard hybrid GPS/inertial guidance systems.
Following the initial deployment of the Hammer AASM, the French air force and navy carried out the first firing tests of this version of the AASM under combat conditions.
Sagem said by adding infrared terminal guidance to the standard hybrid GPS/inertial version of the AASM, the Hammer IR proved to be particularly well-suited to precision strikes against targets with uncertain coordinates, offering impact accuracy to within a few yards, even when GPS signals were unavailable.
The AASM has been deployed in foreign theaters of operation, demonstrating its reliability and accuracy, including for long-range missions.
The GPS/inertial version of the AASM guided weapon, with 500-pound bombs, has been in service with the French air force since 2008, and with the French naval aviation since 2010.
A new version with laser terminal guidance, capable of engaging moving targets, is completing development.