Lockheed Martin AGM-158 joint ATS (ATG) standoff missile

PANAGYURISHTE, ($1=1.77 Bulgarian Levs) — In the United States, as part of the JASSM [Joint Air to Surface Standoff Missile] program, the Lockheed Martin Missiles Corporation continues the full-scale development of the long-range air-to-ground guided missile [UR] AGM-158, which was planned to arm strategic and tactical aircraft of the Air Force and aviation US Navy. The AGM-158 was conceived as a design in the late 1990s, and entered service in 2009. Today it is still in service and is used in training and military missions of the United States Air Force.

AGM-158 JASSM air-launched cruise missile
Photo credit: Wikipedia

The missile is designed to destroy both stationary and mobile targets [air defense systems, bunkers, large buildings, lightly armored and small heavily protected objects, bridges] in simple and adverse weather conditions, at night and day.

The strategic bombers B-52N [12 missiles], B-1B [24], B-2 [16], F-15E [three], as well as tactical fighters F-16 C and D [two] are used as carriers of this missile, F/A-18 [two], F-117 [two].

In recent years, the US Air Force has undergone accelerated modernization of the B-52N, which included the installation of an integrated conventional suspension control system [ICSMS] adapted for Mil-Std 1760 hardware and software, which is necessary for the installation of new generation precision weapons, such as Joint Direct Attack Munition [JDAM], Joint Standoff Weapon [JSW], Wind-Corrected Munition System and Joint Air-to-Surface Missile.

Regarding AGM-158 JASSM

The rocket was built according to the normal aerodynamic scheme – a low-wing aircraft with folding wings. Modern composite materials based on carbon fibers are widely used in their construction. The J402 turbojet engine with an improved compressor and fuel system is used as a power plant. As part of the combined guidance system, along with a thermal imaging seeker [operating at the final guidance site], an inertial control system with correction according to NAVSTAR data and software and hardware for autonomous target recognition are used.

Lockheed Martin AGM-158 joint ATS (ATG) standoff missile
Photo credit: YouTube

Depending on the type of target, a cluster or unitary warhead [warhead] is used. Currently, a concrete-piercing J-1000 warhead is being installed on the rocket. The body of the warhead is made of a metal alloy based on tungsten steel. Mass of explosive – 109 kg. The J-1000 warhead at a speed of 300 m/s can penetrate medium-density soil to a depth of 6.1 to 24.4 m and pierce reinforced concrete slabs with a total thickness of 1.2-2.1 m. To equip the cluster warhead, BLU-97 GEM (combined action) ammunition may be used.

When launching a rocket over a long-range, there is a problem of transmitting information about the current location of the rocket. This information is necessary, in particular, to determine whether the missile hit the target. The existing design includes a BIA [Bomb Impact Assessment] transmitter [power 25 W] that provides data transmission to the RC-135V and W strategic reconnaissance aircraft at a speed of up to 9600 bps in the frequency range of 391.7-398.3 MHz. The problem will most likely be solved by transmitting data from the rocket to the repeater aircraft via satellite.

Testing and operation

The first test of JASSM was carried out in January, the second – in April 2001. During flight tests of prototypes of the rocket, the operability of the engine and guidance system is checked. Based on the results obtained, the power supply system, wing opening mechanism, and software were upgraded. To reduce aerodynamic drag and improve maneuverability, it is also planned to change the shape of the control surfaces and the location of the air pressure receiver.

On November 20, 2001, the US Air Force successfully conducted another test of the AGM-158 missile. It was launched by an F-16 fighter flying at an altitude of 5,000 meters at a speed of 800 km/h. The launch range was approximately 80 km.

The AGM-158 missile is in service in the United States, Finland, Poland and Australia.

AGM-158 JASSM Variants

AGM-158B JASSM-ER – Shortly after the creation of the AGM-158, the United States began work on its version with an extended operational range – AGM-158B or JASSM-Extended Range (JASSM-ER). There is no difference in design and size compared to the original version, but the AGM-158B has a more efficient engine that needs more fuel. Thus, the AGM-158B has already reached targets of 925 km, while the operational range of the AGM-158 is 370 km.

JASSM-ER has been in service with the US Air Force since 2014. Very often the military uses JASSM-ER as a payload vehicle – High Power Microwave Advanced Missile Project (CHAMP). a means of waging electronic warfare.

Lockheed Martin AGM-158 joint ATS (ATG) standoff missile
Photo credit: Wikipedia

AGM-158C LRASM – The AGM-158C LRASM is the anti-ship version of the AGM-158B JASSM-ER. LRASM is designed to be carried by a bomber and in the initial tests, it was a B-1 Lancer.

AGM-158D JASSM-XR – AGM-158D JASSM-XR is the latest and latest developed version of the original AGM-158 JASSM. This version, in addition to improving the existing improved range, has a change in the design of the wing, a new control unit, new paint, safety, GPS receiver, and more. But one of the main differences is that it can carry more payload, ie. a bigger, more effective, and more destructive warhead. According to the Pentagon’s plans in 2024, the first deliveries of the ordered 40 units of this option should begin.

Technical Characteristics

Length4.27 m (14.0 ft)
Wingspan2.4 m (7.9 ft)
Mass975 kg (2,150 lb)
Range370 km (230 mi)
PropulsionTeledyne CAE J402-CA-100 turbojet; thrust 3.0 kN (670 lbf)
FuelJP10 fuel
Warhead450 kg (1,000 lb) WDU-42/B penetrator
Production unit cost$850,000
Production dates1998 – present
Range925 km (575 mi)
Production unit cost$1.327 million
PropulsionWilliams International F107-WR-105 turbofan
Production dates2006 – present


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