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Loitering Attack Missile (LAM)

Lockheed Martin

An integral part of the Army's Future Combat Systems, LAM and its laser detection and ranging (LADAR) seeker have been successfully demonstrated under previous Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency's NLOS-LS (Netfires) and U.S. Air Force's Low-Cost Autonomous Attack (LOCAAS) programs, and will be interoperable with the current as well as future forces.

LAM is an expendable loitering hunter-killer sensor/weapon. It will be about 60 inches long and weigh less than 120 pounds. LAM will be equipped with laser radar  seeker and have automatic target recognition and classification algorithms. Equipped with a micro turbojet engine and large wings, it will be designed for missions of up to 30 minute duration, most of the time will be spent loitering over the target area, in a searching pattern, providing continuous target intelligence from a distance of 70 kilometers from the launch point. LAM can be employed as a target-acquirer, and is able to scan, identify, report and isolate all targets encountered throughout its flight path with extreme reliability, thus increasing the warfighter's knowledge of the battlefield. And by screening all the imagery on board the munition via the target recognizer, only the relevant data is sent back to the operator. Thus LAM sends back an occasional 'chiplet' of relevant target data information the operator assessment.

As a hunter killer sensor/weapon LAM has a dual mission to search a wide area for targets an relay their location back to the command center, where these targets are engaged by direct attack PAMs or by other assets. Toward the end of its mission, or when a priority target appears, the LAM itself can be directed to break off its search and attack the target or any other target it is assigned by the commanders.

The Non-Line-of-Sight - Launch System's LAM is a ground-launched, canistered artillery missile capable of increasing the warfighter's area of influence through hunter-killer flight operation, automatic target recognition, and can report or attack target locations for strike by other munitions.

News: LAM Warhead Testing

LAM conducted a series of tests, examining the performance of the Explosively Formed Penetrator (EFP) warhead. The series included first four-tests series in July, and a new series of five warhead events to characterize lethality firing through the Loitering Attack Missile's aerodynamic skins. All warhead events successfully achieved required pattern and penetration with margin into armor witness plates. Additional three warheads were expended in insensitive munition (IM) screening. IM configuration enhancements help minimize the probability of inadvertent detonation, helping limit damage to the weapon platform, logistics systems or personnel when a munition is subjected to unplanned events such as heat, shock or impact.

The The Multiple Explosively Formed Penetrator (MEFP) warhead is built by Aerojet-General Corporation. The MEFP will allow the LAM to achieve a good balance for two key performance parameters, loiter time and lethality, by optimizing fuel load with warhead size. The wareahd weighs under seven-pound MEFP and is configured to deliver 24 fragments in an expanding geometric pattern. The recent tests demonstrated the penetration of mild steel targets, enabling LAM to adjust the altitude of attack and aim point to optimize fragment impact of targets, for precision effects and minimum collateral damage. LAM warhead is considered for attack against ground based and naval targets. The new LAM design accommodates the present warhead also allowing for additional fuel for longer loitering time. (January 9, 2006)




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  Updated: 01/14/2006



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