Lockheed Martin said Monday it has completed a series of tests to demonstrate the flight characteristics of the U.S. Navy's F/A-18E/F while carrying the Joint Air-to-Ground Missile (JAGM). The flying qualities test series consisted of six flights from Patuxent River Naval Air Station, Md., between Oct. 5 and Nov. 2 with a total flying time of 11.2 hours.
The aircraft flew at altitudes ranging from 5,000 feet to 35,000 feet and at speeds approaching Mach 1.0, according to the company. During the test flights, crews collected vibration, acoustic and shock data in these environments with no anomalies or problems, the company said.
"The F/A-18E/F presents some of the most challenging environments for JAGM," said Hady Mourad, JAGM program director at Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control. "Collecting vibration, acoustic and shock data in these environments for 11.2 hours of flight with no anomalies or problems represents a very successful beginning of flight test efforts that will continue into the EMD phase to integrate JAGM on the Super Hornet."
The JAGM test articles were six instrumented measurement vehicles (IMV) equivalent in weight, size and dimensions to tactical JAGM rounds and outfitted with resistive temperature devices, acoustic sensors and accelerometers to measure the flight environments experienced by the launchers and the missiles. Three IMVs were loaded onto each of two new Navy fixed-wing triple-rail launchers designed and manufactured by Lockheed Martin and Marvin Engineering to carry JAGM on the F/A-18E/F.
The initial operational capability of JAGM on the AH-64D, AH-1Z and F/A-18E/F is scheduled for 2016, and the IOC for the MH-60R and ERMP is 2017. More