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Laser guided Hammer air-to-ground weapon system qualified against moving targets at sea, on land
 
On December 12, 2012, French defense procurement agency DGA successfully carried out the last qualification firing test of the AASM modular air-to-ground missile developed and produced by Sagem (Safran), in its laser terminal guidance version (NATO designation: SBU-54 Hammer). This third and final test qualifies the laser guided version of AASM weapon system and provides the French Navy and Air Force with a new stand off anti-ship capability.

On December 12, 2012, French defense procurement agency DGA successfully carried out the last qualification firing test of the AASM modular air-to-ground missile developed and produced by Sagem (Safran), in its laser terminal guidance version (NATO designation: SBU-54 Hammer). This third and final test qualifies the laser guided version of AASM weapon system and provides the French Navy and Air Force with a new stand off anti-ship capability.

 
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Defense Industry News - France
 
 
 
Laser guided Hammer air-to-ground weapon system qualified against moving targets at sea, on land
 
On December 12, 2012, French defense procurement agency DGA successfully carried out the last qualification firing test of the AASM modular air-to-ground missile developed and produced by Sagem (Safran), in its laser terminal guidance version (NATO designation: SBU-54 Hammer). This third and final test qualifies the laser guided version of AASM weapon system and provides the French Navy and Air Force with a new stand off anti-ship capability.
     
On December 12, 2012, French defense procurement agency DGA successfully carried out the last qualification firing test of the AASM modular air-to-ground missile developed and produced by Sagem (Safran), in its laser terminal guidance version (NATO designation: SBU-54 Hammer). This third and final test qualifies the laser guided version of AASM weapon system and provides the French Navy and Air Force with a new stand off anti-ship capability.
Laser version of the AASM Hammer modular air-to-ground weapon built by Sagem

(Picture: Sagem)
     
The laser version completes the range AASM weapon that already includes GPS-inertial and infrared versions, both in service with the French Navy and French Air Force. More than 200 AASM were shot by Rafales C, B and M during Operation Harmattan over Lybia.
     
Laser version of the AASM Hammer versus highly mobile simulated target
(Archive footage)
     
The December 12th test took place on the DGA missile tests site of Biscarrosse. The target was an all-terrain vehicle. Remotely piloted, it was illuminated by the aircraft's Damocles pod during the final seconds of the AASM's flight. The vehicle was traveling at different speed, reaching 50 km/h at the time of impact, when it was more than 15 km from the Rafale. The weapon was launched from the aircraft at an extreme off-axis angle of 90° and hit the target at an oblique angle.

Using its powerful algorithms for detection and flightpath slaving to the laser point, plus its excellent agility, the AASM hit the target with an accuracy of less than a meter. This performance qualified the complete laser firing system under typical conditions, with the target illumination being carried out by the aircraft firing the weapon.

This new GPS/inertial/laser version further expands the AASM family, which already counts two other versions qualified on Rafale: GPS/inertial and GPS/inertial/infrared. It features a laser seeker in place of the infrared imager on the latter version, and also has tracking algorithms which are activated during the terminal phase.

The AASM SBU-54 Hammer marks an operational breakthrough in relation to current precision air-to-ground weapons. It is capable of engaging moving land targets, or high-speed agile marine targets, with accuracy to within a meter (1), especially during opportunity strikes, as proven during recent conflicts (2).

The AASM Hammer family of weapons is developed and produced by Sagem. It comprises range augmentation and guidance kits fitted to standard 250 kg bombs, and eventually to 125, 500 and 1,000 kg bombs.

(1) During a test on April 21, 2011, impact was demonstrated on a simulated target moving at over 80 km/h. See video above.
(2) For Harmattan operation, French side of NATO's Unified Protector operation in Libya as part of the UN's 1973 resolution, the French Air Force and Navy carried out 225 launches of AASM Hammer missiles from Rafale fighters (Defense Committee of the French National Assembly, report of October 4, 2011 – testimony of the Ministry of Defense), using the INS / GPS and INS / GPS / Infrared guidance versions.