Air-Launched Weapons

AASM in debut firing from F-16

09 June 2014
A Sagem AASM has been successfully fired from a USAF F-16, an international first for the PGM. Source: IHS/Patrick Allen

Sagem's Armement Air-Sol Modulaire (AASM) Hammer SBU-38 precision guided munition (PGM) has been successfully launched from a Lockheed Martin F-16 Fighting Falcon, the first launch of the PGM from a non-French made aircraft.

The firing test was carried out by the US Air Force's (USAF's) 40th Flight Test Squadron, operating out of the test centre in Eglin, Florida, on 30 May, sources told IHS Jane's .

This successful launch is of key importance to Sagem in enabling it to offer the AASM to export customers equipped with the F-16. Currently, the only customer for the AASM is France which operates the PGM from its Dassault Rafale fighter aircraft. However, France's order was dramatically reduced due to budgetary constraints from a planned 4,200 units to only 1,728 - meaning the company needs to find an export customer before mid-2016 in order to keep its production line open.

Sagem have designed the AASM to be compliant with NATO Universal Armament Interface (NUAI) standards - aimed at facilitating the functional integration of new weapons, without modification to the aircraft, and therefore reduce associated adaptation costs. This allowed the AASM to be fired by the USAF F-16, with the firing taking part due to French and United States participation in a NATO 'Smart Defence' project dedicated to the NUAI standard. This project also involves the NUAI programme office at the Wright Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio.

Speaking to IHS Jane's , a US military source stated the firing trial had demonstrated the ease of operating the AASM from combat aircraft built to NATO standards.

Developed and produced in France by Sagem, the AASM PGM comprises a guidance kit and range augmentation unit fitted to standard 250 kg bombs. It is offered in three versions: SBU-38 (inertial and GPS guidance), SBU-54 (GPS-inertial and laser guidance) and SBU-64 (GPS, inertial and infrared guidance). Sagem also offers the AASM on 125, 500 and 1000 kg bombs. Fired at standoff distance day or night, under all weather conditions, the AASM offers a range exceeding 50 km. It can be launched at low altitude and highly off-axis, and can perform high-precision vertical strikes.

Since 2008 the AASM has been used in operations by French Air Force and Navy Rafale fighters in Afghanistan, Libya (225 fired) and Mali.

Related article: Safran Hammers Dassault



(384 words)
By posting a comment you confirm that you have read and accept our Posting Rules and our Terms of Use of this site.

RELEVANT PROFILE LISTINGS

  • Guided Clean Area Weapon (G-CLAW)

    Type Selective Availability Anti-Spoofing Module (SAASM) inertial navigation system/GPS Guided Glide Weapon. Development Textron Systems has developed the Guided Clean Area Weapon (G-CLAW) system for munitions delivery from manned or unmanned aerial vehicles. The G-CLAW is an improved variant of

  • Tien Chien II (Sky Sword 2)

    Type Active radar-guided air-to-air missile. Development Development of what became the Tien Chien II (Sky Sword 2) air-to-air missile dates back to the early 1980s and resulted in an ambitious plan to produce an active-radar guided beyond visual range weapon at a time when equivalent missiles

  • YJ-8K (C-801K), YJ-82K (C-802K), YJ-83K (C-802AK), YJ-83KH (CM-802AKG)

    Type Radar-guided anti-ship missile. Development The YJ-8 (Ying Ji, 'Eagle Strike') is a follow-on system to the first generation of Chinese anti-ship missiles that evolved from the HJ-2 (export designation C-201) and YJ-6 (C-601) families. The HJ-2 and YJ-6 series had their origins in the 'Styx'

  • BLG-120, BLG-204 and BLG-252 cluster bombs

    Type Cluster bomb, multi-purpose. Development The BLG-120, BLG-204 and BLG-252 are bomb grenade launchers (cluster bombs), developed in the 1990s by the Brazilian aerospace and defence metallurgy firm Target (TARGET - Engenharia Indústria e Comércio Ltda.) and the Força Aérea

  • Fastlight

    Type Precision and guided munitions. Development The Fastlight is a GPS guided, compact and precision glide bomb developed by Israel Military Industries (IMI) for Israel Defence Forces (IDF) and friendly customers. The Fastlight is designed as a low-cost weapon for close air support aircraft to

ADVERTISEMENT

Industry Links

IHS Jane's is not responsible for the content within or linking from Industry Links pages.
ADVERTISEMENT