Lockheed Successful in First SCALPEL Flight Test

5/27/2008 - ARCHBALD, PA -- Lockheed Martin successfully conducted the first SCALPEL weapon system release in a recent flight test at the Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division China Lake test range in California. This was the first in a series of tests as part of the U.S. Navy/Marine Corps/Lockheed Martin demonstration flight test program.

Three inert SCALPEL weapons were captive-carried and released from two AV-8B Harriers from the U.S. Navy’s Air Test & Evaluation Squadron VX-31. The weapons were released from various altitudes and distances from their targets, demonstrating the range and accuracy of the system. The enhanced seeker accurately guided each SCALPEL to its target, and the advanced guidance and control system consistently demonstrated its precision.

SCALPEL is a small weapon system that offers precision engagement while minimizing the potential for collateral damage in close air support and urban environments. It is a spiral development program incorporating the existing Enhanced Laser Guided Training Round airframe, minimal aircraft integration costs and development efforts, low technical and schedule risks, and affordable unit cost. SCALPEL can be employed on F-16, F/A-18, AV-8B, medium and large UAV aircraft, and other domestic and international aircraft platforms.

“We successfully demonstrated the capability of our next-generation seeker with a number of first-time events in this mission and are very pleased with its demonstrated performance,” said Joe Serra, Precision Guided Systems senior program manager at Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control. “Our team is now focusing on the next development phases including warhead effectiveness demonstrations, in order to provide this critical precision-strike capability to our Warfighters.”

The team is reviewing weapon system parameters collected during the flight test to assess maximum system performance. The next phase of the flight test program will demonstrate the warhead lethality and limited collateral damage.

Source: Lockheed Press Release

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