Lockheed Martin [LMT] said recently that it has successfully completed an extensive series of wind tunnel tests of its Joint Air-to-Ground Missile (JAGM) system.
The tests simulated the flight environments of the Navy’s F/A-18 E/F Super Hornet jet fighter in various aircraft configurations of the JAGM and its Navy fixed-wing launcher, according to a company press release. The tests prepare the Lockheed Martin JAGM team for F/A-18 E/F flight testing later this year.
The missile will provide Army and Marine Corps rotary- and fixed-wing, as well as the unmanned platforms with a precision, adverse-weather, low-collateral-damage weapon to counter both conventional and irregular warfare threats.
The successful F/A-18 E/F high-speed flying qualities wind tunnel tests of JAGM were conducted at the NASA Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, Calif. More than 200 hours of testing ensured minimal changes to the handling characteristics of the F/A-18E/F by the pilot, according to Lockheed Martin.
Following closely on the flying qualities tests, Lockheed Martin also concluded a series of F/A-18E/F loads tests at the Arnold Engineering Development Center wind tunnel in Tullahoma, Tenn., totaling 150 hours. Test data collected during this activity was used to further refine the structural requirements of the launcher and the missile. Successful F/A-18 E/F safe launch and separation tests were also conducted at the facility. These tests validated the design of Lockheed Martin and Marvin Engineering‘s triple-rail JAGM launcher and confirmed the JAGM could be successfully employed from the aircraft.
Ensuing tests at the Boeing [BA] Vertol wind tunnel in Philadelphia, Pa., demonstrated and validated low-speed flight characteristics of the Super Hornet when loaded with JAGM, according to the company.
The Army’s Joint Attack Munition Systems Project Office in Huntsville, Ala., is leading the JAGM technology development program to replace the Hellfire, Longbow, airborne TOW and Maverick missiles for the Army, Navy and Marine Corps. JAGM will provide the next-generation air-to-ground missile for the services’ rotary-wing, fixed-wing and unmanned platforms.