Kongsberg Defence & Aerospace is set to conduct the final flight test (FTM-5) of the Joint Strike Missile (JSM) in early 2018, in preparation for the weapon’s integration with the Royal Norwegian Air Force’s (RNoAF) F-35A Lightning II multirole stealth fighter.
FTM-5 is the culmination of a two-year flight-test campaign to qualify the missile for integration with the F-35A. In a first end-to-end flight test for the missile, a JSM equipped with a live warhead will be launched from a legacy F-16C/D Fighting Falcon from the US Air Force’s 445th Flight Test Group against a ‘realistic’ land target at the Utah Test and Training Range in the United States.
A Norwegian Ministry of Defence (MoD) spokesperson told Jane’s, “The ongoing effort of qualifying the JSM missile includes a small number of test-firings using a legacy F-16 as launch platform. The objective is to prepare and qualify the weapon for the subsequent integration on the F-35A. We have so far completed five events and have one remaining test-firing in the qualification programme, planned for March 2018. These activities are funded as part of the JSM Development Phase 3 as approved by Parliament in 2014.”
Kongsberg conducted the first flight test (FTM-1) of JSM in October 2015. In October 2016 the company conducted the first long-range powered flight test (FMT-2) of the missile over the Utah Test and Training Range – although FMT-2 was a re-run of an earlier failed flight test. In the May–June period of 2017, the company conducted the FTM-3/FTM-4 trials, with the missile flown without a seeker capability in both tests. “The tests were designed to measure the missile flight in real life and compare it to simulations to check that both correspond, and to measure fuel consumption at different altitudes. Actually, the fuel consumption measured a little better than in the modelling,” Hans Kongelf, vice-president of Kongsberg's Missile Systems division told Jane’s .
Want to read more? For analysis on this article and access to all our insight content, please enquire about our subscription options ihs.com/contact