Tucson, USA: The Raytheon Company has announced that its HDAM missile completed a series of free-flight tests by successfully engaging a radar system emitting low-power levels. The company said that this was a new accomplishment for an anti-radar missile.
HDAM stands for HARM destruction of enemy air defense attack module, while HARM stands for High-speed anti- radiation missile.
Raytheon said that the new HDAM variant adds INS/GPS (inertial navigation system/Global Positioning System) capability to the battle-proven HARM, greatly improving its effectiveness. Earlier test flights, the company said, had validated the missile's improved software and INS/GPS capabilities.
The US Air Force free-flight test of HDAM was the most challenging, said Raytheon, as the missile was fired against a low-power emitter. To fully test the missile's capability, the HDAM only looked for a low-power emitter source at a very close range to the target, which it successfully detected, engaged and attacked.
The missile, launched 25 nautical miles away from the target, by a Block 50 F-16 fighter flying at 0.8 Mach at 25,000 feet, demonstrated its ability to execute the fastest time-critical attack of any air-to-surface weapons available to US forces today, said Raytheon. According to the company, the results met US Air Force expectations.
Raytheon say that the HDAM flight tests have established that the new HARM version has long-distance, time-critical, target attack capability with minimum supersonic flight time and precise accuracy. The HDAM can attack low-power targets quickly and efficiently from a stand-off range.
"This test has clearly demonstrated the extended capabilities of the HDAM," said Jeff Wadsworth, the HARM program director at Raytheon Missile Systems in Tucson, Ariz. "The three successful HDAM flight tests concludes the highly successful cooperative research and development agreement providing the Air Force with an opportunity to upgrade its existing inventory to a system that can be utilized as a suppression or destruction of enemy air defenses weapon with additional capability as a high-speed strike weapon. HDAM can be a new, multi-role arrow in the Air Force warfighter's quiver."
So far, Raytheon Missile Systems has produced more than 22,800 HARMs since 1985. Customers include the US Air Force, Navy, Marines and seven international allies.