French AASM Weapon Performs its First Flight Test


Released on Thursday, September 9, 2004
France
AASM 250
AASM IR
GBU-31 JDAM
Mirage 2000D
Rafale B
AASM - Armement Air-Sol Modulaire
CEP - Circular Error Probable
GPS - Global Positioning System
JDAM - Joint Direct Attack Munition
kg - kilograms
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 goal.

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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