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The tri-mode seeker and guidance software that represent the “eyes and brains” of the Lockheed Martin Joint Common Missile (JCM) reached a significant milestone in passing subsystem Preliminary Design Reviews (PDR) recently. “The tri-mode seeker is really what distinguishes JCM from the eight missiles it will be replacing,” said Rick Edwards, director for tactical missiles at Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control. “It gives JCM the ability to zero in on and destroy threat targets even in close proximity to vital urban structures, friendly forces and non-combatants who must be protected. The tri-mode seeker and multipurpose warhead were identified by the customer as crucial risk areas for the JCM program because of their advanced technologies and because their capabilities had never been achieved before. Now that both the seeker and the warhead have been demonstrated against the full range of required targets, this risk has been substantially reduced.” JCM’s multi-purpose warhead, which previously passed its subsystem PDR, includes both a tandem-shaped charge for armored targets and a blast fragmentation capability for other targets, such as reinforced structures in urban areas. The JCM seeker includes a semi-active laser (SAL), for precision strike and limited collateral damage; an imaging-infrared (I2R) sensor for passive fire-and-forget and robustness against countermeasures; and a millimeter-wave (MMW) radar for active fire-and-forget and operation in adverse weather and battlefields obscurants. The sophisticated seeker — the first of its kind — gives JCM both line-of-sight and beyond-line-of-sight targeting capability, as well as the ability to acquire, track and destroy a wide range of stationary and moving land and maritime targets. The subsystem PDR for JCM’s guidance group covered both the seeker and the micro-miniaturized high speed electronics that process the data the sensors acquire. The subsystem PDR for JCM software and simulations covered the software in the on-board computer that interprets the seeker data, selects a target, sets the warhead mode and generates the electronic commands that guide the missile to its destination. Data presented in the PDRs summarized the results of tower and captive-carry tests of two prototype tri-mode seekers, tracking land and littoral (coastal) targets, as well as extensive computer simulations that have been conducted since 2003. Passage of the two subsystem PDRs completes the series required in the preparation for the system-level PDR, which will determine whether the program has demonstrated the level of maturity for exit from Phase 1 of its System Design and Development (SDD) contract.
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