The French Armaments Procurement Agency, DGA, has announced that the first AASM
(Armement Air-Sol Modulaire) air-to-ground modular weapon was released
successfully from a Mirage 2000 over Landes and Mediterranean test range at
Biscarosse, France. The test was carried out on September 6, 2004.
The AASM, being developed by Sagem, is a modification kit to allow unguided/dumb
250 kg bombs to perform precision guided attacks flying tens of kilometers
through its target. Currently, two models are being developed depending upon
their intended Circular Error Probable (CEP): one meter precision bomb and
10-meter precision bomb. The 10 meters CEP AASM will feature a GPS-based
guidance system similar to those of JDAM bombs. The one meter AASM will add an
infrared imaging seeker to GPS guidance to achieve such an ambitious precision
AASMs with 10-meter CEP are expected to be deployed on French Rafale F2
beginning in 2006. One meter CEP AASMs are planned to be deployed with French
forces in 2008. The new smart weapon will provide low cost, high precision,
affordable, all-weather, direct strike capability to the French Air Force
following the same approach used by the US military for the JDAM program. JDAM
planned improvements also include adding an infrared seeker to the GPS-based
guidance system getting improved accuracy.
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