Boeing [NYSE: BA] successfully conducted its first captive-carry test of a Standoff Land Attack Missile Expanded Response (SLAM-ER) missile enhanced with moving-target, network-centric software recently at the Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division Range, China Lake , Calif.
Carried on an F/A-18 aircraft assigned to VX-31 Air Test and Evaluation Squadron, the SLAM-ER received real-time data via standard Link-16 messages that originated from an orbiting Joint STARS aircraft. Once the information was relayed automatically through the F/A-18 controlling the missile, the SLAM-ER trained its seeker on the moving target and gauged its velocity. The F/A-18 pilot then used "Stop Motion Aimpoint Update" technology to designate the precise impact point and simulate attacking and destroying a truck traveling in traffic between 40-50 mph.
"SLAM-ER will provide Naval warfighters with the first network-centric weapon capable of tracking down and eliminating moving targets," said Mike Marks, Boeing vice president and general manager for U.S. Air Force Fighter and Bomber Programs, and Weapons Programs. "This is a significant step forward in weapons development."
The SLAM-ER production software with moving target capability will be delivered to the U.S. Navy in October 2004, followed by flight tests in mid-2005, and fleet deployment in October 2005. SLAM-ER missiles have a range exceeding 150 nautical miles (278 kilometers) against land and ship targets, and can fly a pre-planned or target-of-opportunity route to the target area.
A unit of The Boeing Company, Integrated Defense Systems is one of the world's largest space and defense businesses. Headquartered in St. Louis, Boeing Integrated Defense Systems is a $27 billion business. It provides systems solutions to its global military, government and commercial customers. It is a leading provider of intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance; the world's largest military aircraft manufacturer; the world's largest satellite manufacturer and a leading provider of space-based communications; the primary systems integrator for U.S. missile defense; NASA's largest contractor; and a global leader in launch services.