JAGM Cooling System completes testing
Testing of the Lockheed Martin and Marotta Controls Joint Air-to-Ground Missile (JAGM) launcher pneumatic cooling system (PCS) has been completed, clearing the way for the next phase of the programme to begin. Lockheed Martin made the announcement in a 6 December 2011 company statement.
The PCS is a central component in US Navy rotary- and fixed-wing JAGM launchers. A miniature compressor and air filtration system, the PCS cools JAGM's imaging infrared (I2R) sensor, enabling the aircrew to passively acquire and track targets at safe standoff range while the missile is still on the launcher, allowing it to confirm target acquisition. It has a predictive reliability of over 10,000 hours mean time between failure, which far exceeds the 2,500 hour durability requirement.
The PCS design is based on Marotta's M-PACT (Pure Air Compression Technology) system used to cool US Navy AIM-9M Sidewinder missiles. M-PACT is in full rate production at Marotta's facility in New Jersey, and the company has delivered more than 1,000 systems.
According to Lockheed Martin, the cooled seeker can passively lock onto targets at significantly greater range than an uncooled seeker and offers superior target discrimination capability, especially in the high-humidity maritime environments frequented by US Navy and Marine Corps aircraft. The ability to passively launch JAGMs outside the enemy's reach allows the aircraft to move on to prosecute other targets or return to base safely. The cooled seeker also offers cost savings over the life of the missile because its mid-wave infrared permits use of a durable hard dome that can withstand abrasion in harsh environments.
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