The Boeing-built AGM-130 standoff missile successfully demonstrated increased capability recently by hitting a horizontal target during a U.S. Air Force mission at Eglin Air Force Base in northwest Florida. The AGM-130 provides the U.S. Air Force a precision standoff missile with adverse weather capability.
The AGM-130 was configured with an updated control system steeper attack profiles in a horizontal target attack (HTA) mode. This allows the weapon to be used against targets such as buried bunkers and roofs of buildings.
"This new expansion of the AGM-130 operational envelope allows the warfighter an increased flexibility in planning missions against horizontal targets," said Robert D. Paster, president of Boeing Autonetics and Missile Systems Division. "This capability reflects our continuing product improvement thrust to increase the utility and effectiveness of the AGM-130 system for the U.S. Air Force."
The AGM-130 was launched by an F-15E flying from Eglin Air Force Base at a speed of Mach 0.85 and an altitude of 1,500 feet. Under guidance from its inertial navigation system and global positioning satellite (INS/GPS) system, the AGM-130 climbed to a cockpit-selected altitude of 5,000 feet.
During the flight, the weapon system officer successfully commanded a descent to 4,000 feet to avoid weather along the AGM-130's flight path. The weapon flew at this altitude until entering the terminal phase of its flight. The weapon system officer took control of the missile after the AGM-130 automatically pitched over from its cruise altitude to a steep attack profile and manually guided the weapon to impact on the target.
"The ability of the AGM-130 to fly to its target under INS/GPS control eases the workload on the aircrew," said Frank Robbins, U.S. Air Force Precision Strike program director. "With this HTA capability, the U.S. Air Force now has significantly improved operational flexibility to attack high-value enemy targets from safe distances."
Boeing was awarded a $31 million contract in April for additional AGM-130s. Boeing now has built or is on contract for more than 675 AGM-130 missiles for the U.S. Air Force inventory. The missile is produced by Boeing Autonetics and Missile Systems Division in Duluth, Ga. Under this contract, Boeing is the system prime contractor for the AGM-130.
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