Friday, July 9, 2010
France Completes World's First Vertical Strike Of Laser-Guided AASM France claimed a world-first vertical strike of a laser-guided AASM smart munition
France claimed a world-first vertical strike of a laser-guided AASM smart munition on July 9.
"The Direction Générale pour l'Armement (DGA) completed successfully Thursday June 17 2010 the first firing of an modular air to ground weapon (armament air sol modulaire - AASM) in a laser version at its Biscarosse site," the procurement office said in a statement. "This firing of a laser guided munition with a vertical impact constitutes a world first," the DGA said.
The firing was part of a feasibility study awarded to Safran group's Sagem in 2008.
A Rafale strike fighter flying from the DGA test flight center fired the laser guided AASM out at sea at a height of 13,000 ft and 25 km from the target at the Biscarosse missile test center. The target, made up of concrete blocks, was designated by a ground laser placed a few hundred meters away. A GPS reading had been entered which deliberately gave coordinates several tens of meters away from the target, to see whether the laser guidance would correct the targeting.
A vertical strike is intended to reduce damage and deaths in urban use, the DGA said. This version is also intended to be use against moving targets at sea or on ground.
A laser version of the AASM follows the initial GPS/inertial-guided AASM propelled bomb, and an infrared model is currently undergoing operational and technical tests.
Tests of the laser AASM will continue in the year.