World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article


Article Id: WHEBN0004478514
Reproduction Date:

Title: Aasm  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: List of aircraft and armament of the Royal Moroccan Air Force, Dassault Rafale, Misrata Airport, Battle of Misrata, Precision-guided munition
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia


Armement Air-Sol Modulaire
(Air-to-Ground Modular Weapon)
AASM family of weapons
Type Precision-Guided Munition
Place of origin France
Service history
In service 2007
Used by French Air Force
French Naval Aviation
Wars War in Afghanistan ; 2011 Libyan civil war
Production history
Manufacturer Sagem Défense Sécurité
Unit cost €164,000[1] (FY12) (~US$220,000)
Specifications (250 kg (550 lb) version)
Weight 340 kg (750 lb)
Length 3.1 m (10 ft 2 in)
Warhead 250 kg (550 lb) bomb body (Mk82, BLU 111 or CBEMS/BANG)

Engine Solid rocket motor
15 km (9 mi) at very low altitude
55 km (34 mi) at high altitude
Hybrid inertial/GPS in decametric all-weather version
Hybrid inertial/GPS + IIR or SALH in metric day/night version
Accuracy 10 m (32 ft 10 in) CEP decametric version
1 m (3 ft 3 in) CEP metric version
Mirage 2000D

The Armement Air-Sol Modulaire (Air-to-Ground Modular Weapon) (AASM) "Hammer" is a French Precision-Guided Munition developed by Sagem Défense Sécurité. AASM comprises a frontal guidance kit and a rear-mounted range extension kit matched to a dumb bomb. The weapon is modular because it can integrate different types of guidance units and different types of bombs.

The basic version features a 250-kilogram (550 lb) bomb plus hybrid inertial navigation system (INS) / Global Positioning System (GPS) guidance. Other variants add imaging infrared (IIR) or semi-active laser homing (SALH) to increase accuracy; there are also versions with 125-kilogram (276 lb), 500-kilogram (1,100 lb) or 1,000-kilogram (2,200 lb) bomb bodies.

It entered service in 2007 with the French Air Force and Naval Aviation, from Rafale and Mirage 2000. It is also known as HAMMER (Highly Agile Modular Munition Extended Range).


The program started in 1997, when the Délégation Générale pour l'Armement (DGA), the French defense procurement agency, launched an international competition on the design for the weapon. In 2000, a contract was awarded to SAGEM for an initial lot of AASM GPS/INS bomb kits, expected at the time to be delivered from 2004 and to enter service the following year.[2]


A test campaign to validate in flight the main performances of this AASM variant started on December 6, 2004 and ended on July 26, 2005.[3]

While demonstrating excellent results, this campaign showed the need to change some of the aerodynamic features of the weapon. To compensate for delays in AASM deliveries in 2008 France ordered dual-mode (laser- and GPS/INS-guided) GBU-49 Enhanced Paveway II kits for integration with Mirage 2000D and Rafale fighter-bombers.[4] The GPS/INS + IIR guided version completed its qualification tests on July 9, 2008 after three firings at the DGA's missile test range in Biscarosse.[5] This 250 kg IR version performed a night launch from a Rafale fighter-bomber at DGA's Biscarosse test range in December 2010.

According to Sagem, the weapon was launched at a range of more than 50 km from the target, which was hit within one meter.[6] A 125 kg version was successfully test fired on January 27, 2009,[7] and a laser guided variant was air-launched for the first time on June 17, 2010.[8]


According to French Senate's Comité des Prix de Revient des fabrications d'Armement (CPRA) cited by the daily La Tribune, the total cost of the AASM program including development costs and the delivery of 2348 kits is €846m.[9] On that basis the per-weapon cost is $300,000 or twelve times the cost of the comparable American JDAM, although the latter has been manufactured in much larger quantities (~250,000 kits) and would be reasonable to expect a drastic reduction of the price of the French munition if larger contracts are signed and economies of scale are achieved.[10]

The 2012 defence budget presented to the Senate reported the project had cost €592.2m (~US$800m) with a unit cost of €164,000, or €252,000 including development costs.[1]


AASM comes in several variants according to its size and the type of guidance used.

  • The current model features a 250 kg bomb matched to a nose-mounted guidance kit and a rear-mounted range extension kit, containing a rocket booster and enlarged fins. There is also a 125 kg, first tested in 2009, and a proposed 1000 kg version.
  • As for guidance, the basic version combines data from a Global Positioning System (GPS) receiver and an inertial navigation system (INS) unit through Kalman filtering, achieving a 10 metres (32 ft 10 in) circular error probability (CEP). This "decametric" all-weather variant is complemented by a "metric" day/night fair weather version which adds imaging infrared (IIR) guidance that matches the target area with a target model stored in its memory for a 1 metre (3 ft 3 in) CEP.
  • A third version uses semi-active laser homing instead of IIR allowing it to hit moving targets with more precision.[11] It was qualified in April 2013.[12]

On October 2010, these versions were given alphanumeric designations with the INS/GPS version becoming the SBU-38 (SBU=Smart Bomb Unit), the INS/GPS/IIR version becoming the SBU-54 and the INS/GPS/SALH version becoming the SBU-64; the system as a whole was renamed Hammer to make it more appealing to export customers.[13]

Operational use

The first order for AASM was placed by the DGA in 2000 for a total of 744 units; deliveries started in 2007 after a two-year delay in development.[14] In 2009 a second order for 680 units was placed, by the end of that year deliveries had reached 334.[15]


AASM made its combat debut on April 20, 2008, during the War in Afghanistan when a Rafale fighter fired two in support of ground troops.[16]


On 24 March 2011 it was reported that an AASM missile fired from a Dassault Rafale was used to destroy a Libyan Air Force G-2/Galeb light ground attack/trainer jet, the first Libyan warplane to challenge the no-fly zone during the 2011 Libyan civil war, on the runway just after the plane had landed at Misrata Airport.[17]

On 6 April 2011, it was reported that a AASM missile fired from a Dassault Rafale was used to destroy a Libyan tank at a range of 55 km.[18]

In Libya, 225 AASM bombs have been fired[19]

"Also referred to as the Hammer, the AASM weapon has impressed during the campaign to date. Incorporating a precision guidance kit and propulsion system, the design will eventually be available for use with standard bombs weighing between 125kg and 1,000kg, although a 250kg version is the only one currently in service. Sagem cites a range capability of more than 32nm from high altitude, or 8nm from low level. Launches can also be made from an off-axis angle of up to 90°, while up to six weapons can be fired against individual targets in a single pass and with just one trigger press." And "Libya represents the first opportunity for the French air force to employ the Thales Damocles targeting pod, although the Navy gave the system its combat debut over Afghanistan in late 2010."[20]


See also


  1. ^ a b "Projet de loi de finances pour 2013 : Défense : équipement des forces" (in French). Senate of France. 22 November 2012. Retrieved 2013-11-07. 
  2. ^ Nick Cook, "Europe sees technology as key: requirements in Europe are currently centred on the RAF's Precision Guided Bomb programme". Interavia Business & Technology. April, 2002. Retrieved July 15, 2010.
  3. ^ Gilles Bessero, "Missile launching tests: main stakes for DGA/SPNuM". Ixarm. August 1, 2008. Retrieved July 15, 2010.
  4. ^ "French Adding GPS to Paveway-II Bombs". Defense Industry Daily. February 14, 2008. Retrieved July 15, 2010.
  5. ^ Sagem Défense Sécurité, Infrared terminal guidance version of AASM successfully completes final qualification firing test. July 16, 2008. Retrieved July 15, 2010.
  6. ^ Philippe Wodka-Gallien (14 December 2010). "First night time launch of Sagem’s AASM guided weapon with infrared terminal guidance".  
  7. ^ Sagem Défense Sécurité, Successful first firing test of the Sagem AASM 125 air-to-ground weapon. February 12, 2009. Retrieved July 15, 2010.
  8. ^ Sagem Défense Sécurité, First launch of Sagem AASM missile with terminal laser guidance a success. July 9, 2010. Retrieved July 15, 2010.
  9. ^ (French) Dominique Merchet, "Une bombe française à 360.000 euros pièce - Sagem conteste". Libération. August 27, 2010. Retrieved August 29, 2010.
  10. ^ "Analyzing the pros and cons of two contenders vying for the title of Canada’s next generation fighter."
  11. ^ "France’s AASM Precision-Guided Bombs". Defense Industry Daily. July 14, 2010. Retrieved July 15, 2010.
  12. ^ ""
  13. ^ Robert Wall, "Call it 'Hammer'". Ares. October 20, 2010. Retrieved October 21, 2010.
  14. ^ (French) Sénat of France, Projet de loi de finances pour 2008: Défense - Equipement des forces. November 22, 2007. Retrieved July 15, 2010.
  15. ^ (French) Sénat of France, Projet de loi de finances pour 2010: Défense - Equipement des forces. November 19, 2009. Retrieved July 15, 2010.
  16. ^ Christina Mackenzie, "Rafale Fires First AASM". Ares. April 28, 2008. Retrieved July 17, 2010.
  17. ^ "Libya live (16:22)". The Telegraph. 24 Mar 2011. Archived from the original on 22 March 2011. Retrieved 24 Mar 2011. 
  18. ^ "Mariane-Jean-Dominique Merchet (4 apr 2011)". The Mariane. 4 Apr 2011. Archived from the original on 16 April 2011. Retrieved 6 Apr 2011. 
  19. ^, October 12, 2011 France Spent Over 1,000 Bombs and Missiles in the 7 Month Libyan Campaign
  20. ^ Flightglobal, June 14, 2011 France's Rafale fighter proves its 'omnirole' skills

External links

  • MBDA page
  • Sagem page
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.