The Boeing Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile (JASSM) has successfully completed a series of safe separation flight tests on an F-16 D.
The third and final F-16 separation test was conducted Feb. 18 from Eglin Air Force Base, Fla. As in the two earlier tests, the full-scale JASSM test vehicle separated safely from the F-16 D as predicted and flew a stable trajectory to impact.
"Besides showing our vehicle's excellent separation characteristics from the F-16, this testing demonstrates our ability to predict just what those characteristics will be throughout the entire launch and jettison envelope of the missile," said Jim Gates, vice president and program manager for JASSM in the Boeing Phantom Works.
The purpose of separation testing is to determine how accurately the behavior of a launched missile can be predicted using trajectory analyses and aerodynamic data derived from wind tunnel testing. The successful F-16 predictions support the ability to predict successful separations from other aircraft as well.
Besides the F-16 C/D, JASSM is designed for initial launch from the B-52H and F/A-18E/F and for eventual launch from the F-15E, B-1B, B-2, P-3C and S-3B.
In the recent F-16 D separation test, the full-scale JASSM vehicle was released at an altitude of 8,500 feet and a speed of Mach 0.95. According to John Gilbert, JASSM command and launch integrated product team leader in the Boeing Phantom Works, all of the visual and recorded flight data met or exceeded the predicted results. The final separation test was preceded by F-16 D separation tests at Eglin on Jan. 26 and Feb. 2. In the first test, the F-16 D released the full-scale JASSM vehicle at an altitude of 5,000 feet and a speed of Mach 0.8. In the second test, the vehicle was released from the same altitude at Mach 0.9.
The Boeing JASSM is designed to attack high priority targets from ranges beyond enemy air defenses. After launch, it will fly autonomously over a low-level, evasive route to the target area, where its autonomous terminal guidance system will locate the target and guide the missile in for a direct hit.
The Boeing JASSM program is being conducted in the Phantom Works in St. Louis, Mo. The program is on schedule and on budget and is providing an affordable, effective, low-risk solution that meets all requirements and offers additional benefits as well.