Boeing SLAM-ER Successful In Automatic Target Acquistion Launch

Apr 30, 2001, 01:00 ET from The Boeing Company

    ST. LOUIS, April 30 /PRNewswire/ -- The U.S. Navy last week successfully
 launched a SLAM-ER missile on a test range at the Naval Air Warfare Center at
 China Lake, Calif.  The launch marked the first developmental flight test of
 the SLAM-ER's automatic target acquisition (ATA) capability.
     The missile was launched from an F/A-18C and flew a predetermined flight
 path that included seven different waypoints.  At each waypoint the SLAM-ER
 changed course, avoiding terrain hazards.  Several miles from the target, the
 ATA system automatically acquired the target and began providing real-time
 targeting cues to the pilot in a second F/A-18C standoff control aircraft.
 The SLAM-ER guidance system also used ATA measurements to guide the missile to
 the target.  Just prior to impact the pilot in the second F/A-18C selected the
 exact hit point using SLAM-ER's Stop Motion Aimpoint Update feature.  The
 SLAM-ER scored a direct hit on the selected target aimpoint.
     "Automatic target acquisition greatly reduces a pilot's workload during a
 mission," said Jim O'Neill, Boeing general manager of Navy Missile Systems.
 "This successful ATA launch of SLAM-ER is another step in the ongoing Boeing
 and U.S. Navy product improvement plan for this highly capable and fleet-
 proven precision strike weapon."
     In full-rate production and deployed with the fleet, SLAM-ER provides the
 U.S. Navy with surgical strike capability against high-value, fixed land
 targets, ships in port, or ships at sea. Designed for deployment from carrier-
 based and land-based aircraft, SLAM-ER can easily be adapted for ship launch.
 SLAM-ER can be launched from safe standoff ranges of more than 150 nautical
 miles.
     The ATA system, which adds a small, internal hardware module to the
 missile, provides the pilot or weapon system operator with real-time target
 cueing in a complex environment on the F/A-18's cockpit display, aiding in
 finding the desired target aimpoint.
     SLAM-ER's ATA pattern-matching algorithms compare the on-board reference
 image generated during the mission to the missile's infrared seeker image, and
 automatically locates the pre-planned aimpoint in the target scene.  With ATA
 activated, the control pilot retains all of SLAM-ER's precision, man-in-the-
 loop terminal control capability.  If the pilot chooses not to intervene, ATA
 is capable of providing automatic terminal guidance to the target.
     All SLAM-ER missiles produced and deployed today contain the ATA
 capability.  Earlier production missiles are being retrofitted.  Boeing is
 currently under contract with the U.S. Navy to produce 346 SLAM-ERs, with
 production expected to continue beyond 2004.  Approximately 700 SLAM missiles
 in the U.S. Navy arsenal will be retrofitted with the SLAM-ER upgrade.
     Boeing produces the SLAM-ER in St. Charles, Mo.
 
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SOURCE The Boeing Company
    ST. LOUIS, April 30 /PRNewswire/ -- The U.S. Navy last week successfully
 launched a SLAM-ER missile on a test range at the Naval Air Warfare Center at
 China Lake, Calif.  The launch marked the first developmental flight test of
 the SLAM-ER's automatic target acquisition (ATA) capability.
     The missile was launched from an F/A-18C and flew a predetermined flight
 path that included seven different waypoints.  At each waypoint the SLAM-ER
 changed course, avoiding terrain hazards.  Several miles from the target, the
 ATA system automatically acquired the target and began providing real-time
 targeting cues to the pilot in a second F/A-18C standoff control aircraft.
 The SLAM-ER guidance system also used ATA measurements to guide the missile to
 the target.  Just prior to impact the pilot in the second F/A-18C selected the
 exact hit point using SLAM-ER's Stop Motion Aimpoint Update feature.  The
 SLAM-ER scored a direct hit on the selected target aimpoint.
     "Automatic target acquisition greatly reduces a pilot's workload during a
 mission," said Jim O'Neill, Boeing general manager of Navy Missile Systems.
 "This successful ATA launch of SLAM-ER is another step in the ongoing Boeing
 and U.S. Navy product improvement plan for this highly capable and fleet-
 proven precision strike weapon."
     In full-rate production and deployed with the fleet, SLAM-ER provides the
 U.S. Navy with surgical strike capability against high-value, fixed land
 targets, ships in port, or ships at sea. Designed for deployment from carrier-
 based and land-based aircraft, SLAM-ER can easily be adapted for ship launch.
 SLAM-ER can be launched from safe standoff ranges of more than 150 nautical
 miles.
     The ATA system, which adds a small, internal hardware module to the
 missile, provides the pilot or weapon system operator with real-time target
 cueing in a complex environment on the F/A-18's cockpit display, aiding in
 finding the desired target aimpoint.
     SLAM-ER's ATA pattern-matching algorithms compare the on-board reference
 image generated during the mission to the missile's infrared seeker image, and
 automatically locates the pre-planned aimpoint in the target scene.  With ATA
 activated, the control pilot retains all of SLAM-ER's precision, man-in-the-
 loop terminal control capability.  If the pilot chooses not to intervene, ATA
 is capable of providing automatic terminal guidance to the target.
     All SLAM-ER missiles produced and deployed today contain the ATA
 capability.  Earlier production missiles are being retrofitted.  Boeing is
 currently under contract with the U.S. Navy to produce 346 SLAM-ERs, with
 production expected to continue beyond 2004.  Approximately 700 SLAM missiles
 in the U.S. Navy arsenal will be retrofitted with the SLAM-ER upgrade.
     Boeing produces the SLAM-ER in St. Charles, Mo.
 
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 SOURCE  The Boeing Company

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