LM Demos JAGM Fixed-Wing Rocket Motor Maturity
The reduced-smoke rocket motor is designated for use on the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet and other high-speed tactical fixed-wing aircraft. Aerojet, Lockheed Martin's rocket motor supplier, ignited a static rocket motor at its Orange, Va., facility. The rocket motor burned for the full duration, achieving predicted thrust levels and turn-down ratio and meeting all test objectives.
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"This successful test reduces risk and demonstrates the maturity of our rocket motor, which is designed specifically to withstand the rigors of high-altitude and high-speed flight environments," said Frank St. John, vice president of tactical missiles in Lockheed Martin's Missiles and Fire Control business. "The reduced-smoke motor leverages the work we performed in the Technology Demonstration (TD) phase of the program to optimize fixed-wing rocket motor performance."
The reduced-smoke rocket propellant is a formulation used in Aerojet's heritage AIM-120 Advanced Medium-Range Air-to-Air Missile (AMRAAM) motor. It required only minor burn-rate tailoring for use with JAGM. Lockheed Martin is also using this formulation, with similar tailoring, in the jettison motor of NASA's Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle launch abort system.
"Our reduced-smoke motor is nearly identical to the proven tactical motor we are using for rotary-wing and unmanned platforms," St. John said. "We are confident the tactical motor demonstrated in TD is ready to accommodate all platform requirements. Our ongoing investment activities, including this static fire test, ensure we are ready to deliver a mature reduced-smoke motor by the Engineering and Manufacturing Development critical design review."
Aircraft intended to carry JAGM include the U.S. Army's AH-64D Apache attack helicopter, MQ-1C Gray Eagle unmanned aerial system, and OH-58D Cockpit And Sensor Upgrade (CASUP) Kiowa Warrior armed reconnaissance helicopter; the U.S. Marine Corps' AH-1Z Viper attack helicopter; and the U.S. Navy's MH-60R Seahawk armed reconnaissance helicopter and F/A-18E/F Super Hornet jet fighter.
Initial operational capability (IOC) of JAGM on the Apache, Viper and Super Hornet is scheduled for 2017. IOC for the Seahawk, OH-58D CASUP and Gray Eagle is 2018.
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Source : Lockheed Martin Corporation (NYSE: LMT)
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