The Lockheed Martin Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile (JASSM) programme is to shift into its critical developmental testing (DT) phase now that project officials have corrected a technical problem discovered during the recently completed controls testing (CT).

In September, JASSM failed to complete the key CT-1 flight when the test article hit the ocean after completing only 25% of the 25min mission. The missile commanded all four fuel isolation valves be opened, but at least one remained closed, allowing only one tank to feed fuel. According to Lt Col Tim Moore, JASSM programme deputy director, a fully qualified fuel valve was substituted for the original one for the CT-2 flight, which was completed on17 November.

In the second engineering and manufacturing development controls flight test the cruise missile cleanly separated from the aircraft and flew in excess of 370km (200nm), conducting turns, dives and manoeuvres to assess the missile's flight control characteristics.

Eight DT flight tests are planned by early 2002, with the first to take place in January. In DT-1, a JASSM with an inert warhead will fly a series of waypoints prior to a target attack. DT-2 will follow with the missile armed with a live warhead and equipped with an active seeker. If DT is successfully completed, project officials plan six operational test (OT) missions up to late 2002.

The low-rate initial production and full-rate production milestones are set for late next year and early 2003 respectively.

Meanwhile, a system designed to improve the jamming resistance of GPS-satellite navigation equipped weapons is being incorporated into JASSM. Lockheed Martin and Rockwell Collins have teamed to develop the digital GPS Spatial Temporal Anti-Jam Receiver (G-STAR). G-STAR has been repackaged to fit into JASSM. Initial production units will be available early next year for integration and qualification testing.

Source: Flight International