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AGM-86D Block II CALCM Conventional Air Launched Cruise Missile

The AGM-86D Block II program is the Precision Strike variant of CALCM. Boeing was awarded two contracts in 1999 to convert 322 surplus Air-Launched Cruise Missiles into CALCMs. The final 50 missiles will be delivered in the new AGM-86D configuration, which has the avionics upgrades as well as a new, penetrating warhead for hardened and buried targets. It incorporates a penetrating warhead, updated state of the art, near-precision, GPS guidance, and a modified terminal area flight profile to maximize the effectiveness of the warhead. The penetrating warhead is augmented with two forward shape charges. To maximize the warheads effectiveness against hardened targets, the Block II will maneuver and dive onto its target in a near vertical orientation. The updated guidance system will increase the systems lethality by obtaining a less than 5 meter CEP.

The AGM-86D will be able to destroy buried or reinforced targets from standoff ranges of hundreds of miles. While the penetrating warhead provides the warfighter with a critical new tool, the key enabling technology is the precision accuracy upgrade - first fielded in the Block 1A configuration - that puts the CALCM within meters of the target. The AGM-86D uses an advanced unitary penetrating warhead and precision accuracy guidance to hold a portion of the hard and deeply buried target set at risk. Previous conversions have been for the AGM-86C CALCM, which has a 3,000 pound-class blast fragmentation warhead.

The Precision Strike variant of CALCM was successfully demonstrated in December 1996. A CALCM modified with a new precision GPS implementation flew for 4.5 hours, performed a newly developed steep terminal dive, and impacted the target within 2.5 meters of the aim point. The demonstration clearly showed that CALCM is capable of delivering it's warhead with precision accuracy from extremely long standoff ranges.

A feasibility study was concluded in April 1997, in which it was determined the BROACH Warhead on CALCM would offer very significant hard target capabilities. Foreign Comparative Test (FCT) funds have been provided by DoD for a demonstration of the UK's BROACH Warhead. The FCT concluded in late 1998. In October 1997 British Aerospace announced that Aerojet had been selected as its US partner in TEAM BROACH for product engineering and integration of the BROACH warhead system into US weapons.The BROACH multi-warhead system, also under evaluation for the the Joint Stand-off Weapon (JSOW), achieves its results by combining an initial penetrator charge (warhead) with a secondary follow-through bomb, supported by multi-event hard target fuzing. The outcome is a warhead and fuze combination that provides for the defeat of hardened targets more than twice that achievable for equivalent single penetrating warhead types, at an equivalent weight and velocity. The warhead technology can be scaled and configured for a variety of weapon payload and targets requirements

The current Block II program is structured for EMD to begin in first quarter FY99 with missile production to commence in third quarter FY00. Total procurement is for between 130 and 195 missiles. Boeing is under contract to convert Air Launched Cruise Missiles (ALCM) to a CALCM variant designated as AGM-86D. The conversion process includes a total disassembly of the ALCMs - some of which have been in storage for several years - refurbishment or replacement of nearly every part, overhaul of the engine and other hardware, structural modification of the airframe, then reassembly with modified avionics and a new conventional warhead.

In November 2001 the US Air Force flight-tested the new AGM-86D Conventional Air-Launched Cruise Missile (CALCM) at White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico. The missile was launched from a U.S. Air Force B-52 bomber and flew a pre-planned flight path to its target - a hardened, buried target complex, which the warhead penetrated prior to detonation.

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Page last modified: 06-12-2017 17:40:29 ZULU