The US Air Force Lockheed Martin Joint Air-to-Surface Stand-off Missile (JASSM) completed its first development flight test (DT-1) at White Sands Missile Range on 19 January.

Launched from a USAF Lockheed Martin F-16 fighter at 15,000ft (4,600m), the cruise missile, fitted with an inert warhead, navigated via a series of waypoints before performing a terminal manoeuvre and striking the target.

All test objectives for the first of eight DT flights were met, according to USAF programme officials. Subsequent tests will evaluate JASSM systems, including the infrared seeker.

The next firing, with a live warhead, is due in early April. Pending successful completion of development flights, 10 operational test missions are planned through to late next year.

The low-rate initial production (LRIP) and full-rate production milestones are set for late this year and early 2003 respectively. The LRIP decision is expected with completion of DT-4. Meanwhile, the weapon's resistance to the jamming of global positioning system (GPS) signals is being improved.

Raytheon is providing an anti-jam GPS receiver for initial JASSMs while later weapons will be equipped with the Lockheed Martin/Rockwell Collins digital GPS spatial temporal anti-jam receiver, which includes an anti-spoofing module.

Eight Boeing F/A-18 Hornets have "buddied-up" to fire two Boeing SLAM-ER missiles at a USN sea test range. The strike was planned and performed in two waves. Two F/A-18s fired the missiles, two controlled the missiles while two others acted as back-up controllers. Safe separation for the strike was assured by two more Hornets. The targets, a simulated bunkered aircraft and mobile radar, were destroyed in the strike.

Source: Flight International