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

  • 3M51 Alfa

    Type High-speed land-attack cruise missile. Development The 3M51 Alfa (P-900) is a hypersonic cruise missile developed by NPO Mashinostroyenia (NPO Mash), formerly the Chelomey design bureau. It was first revealed in public in 1993 and several concept models and mock-ups were exhibited before the

  • AGM-130

    Type Powered stand-off weapon. Development The AGM-130 was a second-generation stand-off weapon, conceived in the post-Vietnam era of the late 1970s as a modular, heavyweight precision missile. It was essentially a powered version of the earlier GBU-15 weapon, to be used against a variety of

  • AGM-65 Maverick

    Type TV, laser and infra-red guided air-to-surface missile. Development The AGM-65 Maverick family of air-to-surface missiles was developed by Hughes in the mid-1960s and first delivered to the US Air Force in 1972. Many different variants of the missile were adopted across the US armed forces

  • Hakeem (PGM-500, PGM-2000)

    Type Powered stand-off weapon. Development The family of weapons produced by MBDA as the PGM series (export name) was developed to meet a unique national requirement for the United Arab Emirates Air Force (UAEAF). At the beginning of the 1980s the UAE made discrete approaches to a number of

  • Kh-59M, Kh-59ME Ovod-M (AS-18 'Kazoo')

    Type Powered stand-off weapon Development Raduga's (now part of JSC Tactical Missiles Corporation) Kh-59M missile (NATO codename AS-18 'Kazoo') is an extended range stand-off weapon first seen in public in the early 1990s. Its Russian name was Ovod-M (Ovod, gadfly). M signifies moderniziroveniy

ADVERTISEMENT

Industry Links

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