Lockheed Martin Successfully Tests Revolutionary Strike Weapons Guidance System
ORLANDO, FL, 15-MAY-03 -- Lockheed Martin has successfully demonstrated a new, precision seekerless strike weapon system at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla. resulting in the direct hit of a point target obscured by clouds. The new system promises to revolutionize the United States' next-generation strike weapons, beginning with the U.S. Air Force's new Small Diameter Bomb. The highly maneuverable 1,000-pound weapon demonstrated by Lockheed Martin is a network-centric system that can target threats without a seeker. The weapon was developed with company research and development funds to demonstrate accuracy of a precision navigation technique, PNAV (patent pending), and the effectiveness of a long-range, low-cost munition.
The test vehicle verified a rigorous engineering process that merged innovative navigation, communications, and weapon technology to provide affordable precision strike. The result was extended standoff range, end-game maneuvering performance, and increased accuracy.
The all-weather, precision standoff weapon uses an inexpensive wing set to provide maneuvering G's and energy to interdict evasive targets. PNAV results in a near-zero navigation Circular Error Probability (CEP).
This test demonstrated the ability to use a low-cost, two-way data link that provides continuous corrections to the current GPS system, said Randy Bigum, vice president of Strike Weapons at Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control. The result was a direct hit without the use of an end-game seeker. PNAV is envisioned as a candidate weapons data link that can provide weapon tracking and status, and vastly improved accuracy to a host of weapons.
As the corporate center for strike weapon systems, including the Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile (JASSM), Wind Corrected Munitions Dispenser (WCMD), and Low Cost Autonomous Attack System (LOCAAS), Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control plans to employ PNAV in future strike weapons.
PNAV is also a key ingredient in Lockheed Martin's system design for its Small Diameter Bomb (SDB). PNAV enables the Lockheed Martin SDB to achieve a system CEP much less than four meters, including target location error, with a low-cost, seekerless configuration. This successful flight test of a PNAV-based weapon significantly reduces SDB's risk in meeting its required accuracy.
Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control develops, manufactures and integrates world-class air defense, fire support, strike weapon, naval munition, combat vision, anti-armor and advanced product solutions and systems for U.S. and international armed forces.