Missile manufacturer Matra BAE Dynamics Alenia has announced that the first Advanced Short Range Air-to-Air Missiles were delivered to the USA for integration and testing on the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter Lightning II. The missiles are intended for the Royal Air Force (RAF) and Royal Navy’s F-35Bs and will provide British Lightning IIs with a “highly capable, passive, within visual range air-to-air capability.” Testing will include captive carry and safe-separation tests that will eventually lead to live shots against representative targets and are a step toward the UK armed forces declaring initial operational capability with the F-35 by end of 2018.
4/11/2016 – ARNOLD AIR FORCE BASE, Tenn. — In February 2016, missile manufacturer Matra BAE Dynamics Alenia announced that the first Advanced Short Range Air-to-Air Missiles were delivered to the U.S. for integration and testing on the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter Lightning II.
Store separation testing of the Advanced Short Range Air-to-Air Missile has been conducted in the wind tunnels at the Arnold Engineering Development Complex here. Separation testing of the ASRAAM, also known as the AIM-132, with the F-35 was last performed in the 4-foot transonic aerodynamic wind tunnel at the Propulsion Wind Tunnel facility in 2008.
The objective of the test was to investigate the separation characteristics of several armaments, which included the AIM-132 as well as the AIM-9X, AIM-120C, AGM-154 Joint Stand-off Weapon, GBU-32 (1,000-pound Joint Direct Attack Munition) and Paveway IV, from internal and external weapons stations of the Short Take-off and Vertical Landing and Carrier Variant versions of the JSF aircraft.
Test data included store freestream, pseudo-freestream (i.e. aircraft model in tunnel), aerodynamic grid, captive trajectory and captive loads.
Results from the test have supported internal and external weapons separation characteristic evaluations and structural analyses for various aircraft weapons loadings.
According to the recent release by MBDA, the ASRAAM is intended for the Royal Air Force and Royal Navy’s F-35Bs and will provide British Lightning IIs with a “highly capable, passive, within visual range air-to-air capability.”
Integration and test efforts at Edwards AFB, California, and Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Maryland, will include captive carry and safe-separation tests that will eventually lead to live shots against representative targets. The ASRAAM integration is anticipated to be a step toward the RAF and RN declaring initial operational capability with the F-35 by end of 2018. The UK has committed to purchasing at least 138 of the strike fighters. @afmc.af.mil
The Advanced Short Range Air-to-Air Missile (ASRAAM) is a state of the art, highly manoeuvrable and combat effective weapon. Many combat aircraft are currently equipped with radar-guided AIM-120 AMRAAM for long range engagements and the AIM-9 Sidewinder for close combat. The two missiles are an ill-matched pair, since nearly four decades separates their origins. construction. While AMRAAM is highly effective at ranges between 5-50 kilometers, its usefulness diminishes rapidly at a shorter ranges.
A rival to the American-built AIM-9X Sidewinder, ASRAAM is equipped with a Raytheon-Hughes infrared seeker which is the baseline for the company’s AIM-9X seeker. The company developed an infrared seeker featuring a unique sapphire dome as part of an engineering-manufacturing-development and production effort valued at $215 million. This ASRAAM seeker played a part the company’s competitive win of the AIM-9X missile contract that could lead to some $5 billion in business over the next 20 years.
Manafacturer British Aerospace
Date Deployed 1998 ?
Range 8 nm ( 300 m to 15 km )
Speed Mach 3+
Propulsion One dual-thrust solid-propellant rocket motor
Guidance strapdown inertial and Imaging Infrared
Warhead 22.05 lb ( 10 kg ) blast/fragmentation
Launch Weight 220.5 lb ( 100 kg )
Length 8 ft, 11.5 in ( 2.73 m )
Diameter 6.6 in ( 0.168 m )
Fin Span 17.7 inches ( 45 cm )