Boeing has selected Lockheed Martin Electronics and Missiles, Orlando, Fla., to supply a new penetrating warhead for a follow-on configuration to the company's Conventional Air-Launched Cruise Missile.
Lockheed Martin's Advanced Unitary Penetrator was selected following a series of full-scale sled tests at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla. The AUP3(M) is a 1,200-pound kinetic-energy warhead that relies on the speed of the cruise missile to punch through the target structure prior to detonation.
Boeing currently is on contract with the U.S. Air Force to convert 322 nuclear Air-Launched Cruise Missiles to non-nuclear CALCM AGM-86C Block 1 and Block 1A configurations. Under the latest contract modification, the last 50 of those conversions will be to the new AGM-86D hard-target penetrating warhead configuration.
CALCM is an affordable, long-range standoff weapon that has been employed effectively in combat in Operation Desert Storm, Desert Strike, Desert Fox and most recently Operation Allied Force.
"The AUP warhead will allow the missiles to destroy buried or reinforced targets from standoff ranges of hundreds of miles," said Chris Sales, Boeing CALCM program manager. "While the penetrating warhead provides the warfighter with a critical new tool, the key enabling technology is the precision accuracy upgrade - first fielded in the Block 1A configuration - that puts the CALCM within meters of the target."
The AUP warhead was selected over the Multiple Warhead System, which is a penetrating warhead concept in development by the European consortium Team BROACH for the Storm Shadow cruise missile. Sales said that both performed well in CALCM testing and demonstrated significant performance potential especially against certain classes of hardened targets. AUP was selected as a better solution for the Air Force's near-term requirement, but further evaluation of the Multiple Warhead System will continue for future Boeing Weapons Programs applications.
CALCM conversions are being performed in St. Charles, Mo., alongside production of the Navy's Harpoon and SLAM ER missiles and the multi-service JDAM precision weapon. Boeing personnel in Seattle are providing engineering and logistics support work.
The first Block 1 CALCMs were delivered to the Air Force in late November. The final AGM-86D missiles will be delivered by mid-2001. Two AGM-86D demonstration flights are planned in 2001 prior to delivery of production missiles.
Boeing is the world leader in cruise missiles, having produced nearly 11,000, including the Harpoon, SLAM and more than 1,700 ALCMs.