U.S. Air Force Successfully Tests Boeing AGM-86D CALCM

The U.S. Air Force recently flight-tested the new AGM-86D Conventional Air-Launched Cruise Missile (CALCM) at White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico.

The missile was launched from a U.S. Air Force B-52 bomber and flew a pre-planned flight path to its target -- a hardened, buried target complex, which the warhead penetrated prior to detonation.

Boeing is under contract to convert Air Launched Cruise Missiles (ALCM) to a CALCM variant designated as AGM-86D.

"The AGM-86D will be able to destroy buried or reinforced targets from standoff ranges of hundreds of miles," said Carl Avila, Boeing ALCM/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 AGM-86D uses an advanced unitary penetrating warhead and precision accuracy guidance to hold a portion of the hard and deeply buried target set at risk. Previous conversions have been for the AGM-86C CALCM, which has a 3,000 pound-class blast fragmentation warhead.

CALCM has become the Air Force's long-range standoff weapon of choice, principally because of its unparalleled ability to deliver very large warheads with exceptional accuracy over distances in excess of 600 miles.

The conversion process includes a total disassembly of the ALCMs -- some of which have been in storage for several years -- refurbishment or replacement of nearly every part, overhaul of the engine and other hardware, structural modification of the airframe, then reassembly with modified avionics and a new conventional warhead.

CALCM is the only air-launched, conventionally armed, long-range standoff missile deployed in the Air Force inventory today. Coupled with long-range bombers and air-refueling aircraft, the CALCM missile provides the Air Force a highly responsive capability to launch very accurate conventional attacks against targets located nearly anywhere in the world, without the support of bases located outside the continental United States.



For further information:
Robert Algarotti
(314) 233-1532