Boeing has completed a dynamic sled test of the Conventional Air Launched Cruise Missile (CALCM) using a Bomb Royal Ordnance Augmenting Charge (BROACH) warhead. Conducted as part of the U.S. Air Force Foreign Comparative Test (FCT) Program, the CALCM successfully penetrated a reinforced, 12-foot-thick concrete target.
During testing, a BROACH warhead loaded in a CALCM forebody accelerated down the sled track at the Pendine Test Range in Wales and impacted the target at approximately 1000-feet-per-second. The newly configured CALCM carried an explosive charge for creating an initial impact hole, and an inert penetrator that entered the remaining structure and exited with significant velocity. The test successfully demonstrated the precise positioning of the penetrator for detonation within the target interior.
"This highly successful sled test verifies the ability of 900-pound warheads such as BROACH to defeat reinforced structures," said U.S. Air Force Col. J.P. O'Neill, CALCM program director at Tinker Air Force Base, Okla.
The CALCM is a conventional (non-nuclear), modified version of surplus Air Launched Cruise Missiles (ALCM). Launched from a B-52 aircraft, the CALCM was initially used in Operation Desert Storm and later during Operation Desert Strike. Boeing, the CALCM prime contractor, is developing a precision strike capability for the missile that will enable it to destroy buried or reinforced targets with precision global positioning system accuracy (3 meters) from a standoff range spanning hundreds of miles.
The FCT Program is being conducted under a memorandum of understanding between the U.S. and UK governments to demonstrate the applicability of international partner technologies to CALCM.
"Boeing and Team BROACH, led by British Aerospace Royal Ordnance, have made significant progress in this foreign comparative test," said Chris Sales, CALCM program manager for Boeing. "Applying a penetrating warhead such as BROACH to CALCM bolsters the Air Force's ability to engage targets around the world in a matter of hours."
Additional BROACH sled tests with a live warhead will be conducted this fall at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla. In a parallel test program, Boeing and the Air Force also will test another conventional warhead (AUP-3M) for potential CALCM applications. Once testing is complete, the Air Force will conduct a cost benefit analysis and a penetrating warhead system will be selected for CALCM.