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AASM with IR Terminal Guidance Demos Metric Accuracy

PARIS --- On June 12, the French defense procurement agency, the DGA, successfully carried out the second qualification firing for the infrared terminal guidance version of the modular air-to-ground AASM weapon at the DGA’s missile test center in Biscarrosse.

This so-called ‘metric’ AASM version is equipped with the following:
-- An inertial/GPS guidance system identical to that of the qualified ‘decametric’ version
-- An infrared imager that automatically identifies the target several seconds before impact and corrects the trajectory

The AASM’s GPS was deactivated in order to demonstrate the weapon’s capability of striking its target with metric precision without using the GPS. This capability is indispensable when the target coordinates are imprecise or severe operational conditions render the GPS useless.

After flying for roughly 25km using pure inertial navigation, the AASM executed a terminal readjustment using its infrared imager and struck its target with remarkable accuracy, thus achieving a worldwide first.

Following the first firing on April 23, 2008, at a distance of more than 50km, this new success constitutes a major step towards qualification of the AASM ‘metric’ version – the campaign for which will be completed this summer.

The ‘decametric’ AASM is in service in the French Air Force and has been successfully used several times by Rafale fighter planes in Afghanistan.

Developed by Sagem Défense Sécurité (SAFRAN Group), the AASM is composed of guidance and range enhancement kits. It provides bomb bodies that are currently in use with new operational capabilities. Following a recent agreement, MBDA France will commercialize the AASM as part of its comprehensive offer for international air forces.


Sagem Défense Sécurité is a high-tech company in the SAFRAN Group. It is a world or European leader in solutions and services in optronics, avionics and critical software for the civilian and military markets. Sagem Défense Sécurité is the European No. 1 and worldwide No.3 in INSs for aeronautic, naval and land applications. It is also the worldwide No.1 in helicopter flight controls and the European No.1 in optronic and tactical UAV systems. Present across the globe via the SAFRAN Group’s international network, Sagem Défense Sécurité and its subsidiaries employ 6000 people in Europe and the US.

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Successful 2nd Qualification Firing and Worldwide First for Infrared Terminal Guidance AASM