United States of America
- Automatic Target Recognition
- Command Launch Unit
- Control Test Vehicle
- Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency
- Global Positioning System
- Guided Test Vehicle
- Inertial Measurement Unit
- LAser raDAR
- Laser Detection and Ranging
- Loitering Attack Missile
- LOw Cost Autonomous Attack System
- Non-Line-Of-Sight Launch System
- Precision Attack Missile
- Prototype Integration Facility
Lockheed Martin conducted a successful Control Test Vehicle (CTV) flight test of
its Loitering Attack Missile (LAM) recently at Eglin Air Force Base, Florida.
This latest flight test of the new square body LAM airframe included a turbojet
and demonstrated launch through transition to cruise.
A more extended cruise was hindered by fuel issues that were promptly
identified, reported and addressed. One more flight test remains in the series
to demonstrate LAM end-to-end performance.
During this flight, the LAM launched vertically from a container launch unit;
maintained stability during rocket powered ascent using a fin-control actuation
system and a commercial IMU; maintained stability during wing deployment;
started a micro turbojet engine with integral electrical generator; executed a
high-G maneuver to limit altitude; transitioned to cruise; established a
commercial GPS fix; and maneuvered and navigated to the initial waypoint. The
onboard telemetry subsystem provided real-time observation of all onboard
operations including a nose mounted color TV camera recording the missile view
through a clear glass nose dome.
Building on a Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency's (DARPA) NetFires
predecessor, this new, innovative square-body LAM airframe features more room
for fuel, bigger wings and bigger fins for extended loiter time and improved
control, a more fuel efficient turbojet and an Aerojet annular rocket motor.
The airframe, seeker, electronics, fuel system and software suite were designed
and integrated by Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control in Dallas, Texas.
Key subsystems of LAM included a miniature turbojet from Technical Directions
Inc., in Ortonville, MI, a motor that shares heritage with an air-launched
predecessor; a control actuation system from Moog, Inc., in Buffalo, New York,
with precision electro-mechanical actuators common with the Precision Attack
Missile (PAM); and control surfaces made using advanced low-cost production
technology at Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company (Skunk Works), in Palmdale,
The test flight's launcher was a collaborative Container Launch Unit (CLU),
provided by the NLOS-LS Project Office and fabricated by its Prototype
Integration Facility (PIF).
The remaining test in this five-flight series will be a Guided Test Vehicle (GTV)
with a turbojet and LADAR seeker. The GTV will be a complete missile system and
will be flown against a real target in an end-to-end demonstration from launch
through search to target identification and attack.
The NetFires LLC, a limited liability company formed by Lockheed Martin and
Raytheon, was established to develop the Non Line-Of-Sight - Launch System (NLOS-LS)
consisting of the LAM, PAM and the CLU.
In operation, LAM is the loitering capability of NLOS-LS. It is projected to
loiter, locate, identify and destroy fleeting high-value mobile targets at
extended range. Its range and unique ability to search large areas for moving or
poorly located targets then decisively engage these targets will provide the
Army an artillery solution virtually independent of target location error. LAM
is a responsive cruising artillery munition, ideal for hunter-killer missions
where automatic target recognition finds and identifies precisely the target of
interest. If the network is active, it can report these targets and be
controlled by a man in the loop. NLOS-LS is an integral part of the Army's
Future Combat Forces and Modular Forces.
Lockheed Martin-designed loitering munitions have achieved many successful
flight tests with multiple airframe configurations. LAM's LADAR seeker has been
successfully demonstrated under previous DARPA NetFires and U.S. Air Force
Low-Cost Autonomous Attack System (LOCAAS) programs. Loitering munitions with
ATR technology will provide early entry forces with responsive artillery to hold
moving or stationary enemy forces at risk anytime anywhere in the area of
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