Boeing Delivers Improved Conventional Air-Launched Cruise Missile to the U.S. Air Force
The Boeing Company has delivered the first Block 1A
Conventional Air-Launched Cruise Missile, or CALCM, to the
U.S. Air Force. Six of the new missiles were recently shipped to Fairchild Air Force Base in Spokane, Wash., for inspections and ground checks prior to a planned first flight in February.
The new Block 1A configuration includes a precision accuracy kit that uses a third-generation GPS receiver, advanced navigation software, and a GPS anti-jam system for a significant increase in immunity to electronic jamming.
During the next year Boeing will deliver more than 200 kits of the new hardware and software to be retrofitted into earlier Block 0 and Block 1 models of CALCM.
Boeing was awarded two contracts in 1999 to convert 322 surplus Air-Launched Cruise Missiles into CALCMs. Of those missiles, 132 will be delivered in the Block 1A configuration. Boeing has already delivered 140 of those in the Block 1 configuration. The final 50 missiles will be delivered in the new AGM-86D configuration, which has the avionics upgrades as well as a new, penetrating warhead for hardened and buried targets. Boeing is making the conversions at its Weapons Programs center in St. Charles, Mo.
CALCM is the only air-launched, conventionally armed, long-range standoff missile deployed in the U.S. Air Force inventory. It is produced by modifying surplus nuclear-armed AGM-86Bs (ALCMs). It features a high-explosive blast-fragmentation warhead and a GPS receiver for accurate GPS-aided inertial navigation.
Launched from B-52H aircraft, CALCM provides the U.S. Air Force with an economical, rapid response, worldwide conventional strike capability; this makes it a cost- effective choice for additional system upgrades and new mission applications.
Boeing has proposed a new, extended-range version of CALCM for the Air Force's Extended Range Cruise Missile requirement.