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Qualification of AASM 1000 Munition for Rafale

Two AASM 1000 munitions under Rafale [© French Ministry of Defence]

The French DGA (Direction Générale de l’Armement) pronounces the qualification of the AASM 1000 munition for the Rafale combat aircraft.

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Press Release, Paris, 26 January 2023: [auto-translated] At the end of 2022, the DGA pronounced the qualification of the AASM 1000 GS munition (Armement Air-Sol Modulaire de 1000 kg propulsé avec guidage GPS et inertiel or propelled 1000kg Modular Air-to-Ground Armament with GPS and inertial guidance) and its support system.

The AASM 1000 is one of the new capabilities of the Rafale F4 standard, the qualification of the first increment (F4.1) of which is planned by the end of January. It will be used by the Air and Space Force and by the French Navy, in particular from the aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle. The AASM 1000 is intended to adapt to historical high-power bomb bodies (Mk84 and BLU109 bomb bodies), but also to new developments in progress from the French company ARESIA (BA84 and P1000 bomb bodies).

It is composed of a GPS and inertial guidance kit and a range increase kit. The latter, which uses a propellant, allows a significant lengthening of the range of fire compared to a non-propelled munition. These two kits are directly derived from the latest version of the AASM 250 and adapted to 1000 kg bombs. The AASM 250 munition (250 kg version), in service with the French Army since 2008, has been successfully combat-tested in various theatres of operation.

Gunsmiths from the Air and Space Force and the French Navy carry out the assembly of the AASM 1000 (assembly of guidance and range increase kits on bomb bodies) and the configuration munition according to the needs of the mission. The support system available to users includes assembly tools, test benches and user and maintenance documentation for the implementation of the munition.

The Rafale combat aircraft to the F4.1 standard will be able to carry up to three AASM 1000s (one ventral and one under each wing). The development of the AASM 1000 munition was carried out with the active participation of technical experts from the Air and Space Force, the French Navy and the Joint Munitions Service (SIMu) in order to take into account the earlier the recommendations and needs of end users in industrial works.

The various qualification tests for this munition were carried out in the DGA test centres (DGA Missile Testing, DGA Aeronautical Techniques, DGA Land Techniques and DGA Flight Testing) with the manufacturers Safran Electronics & Defense and Dassault Aviation. In particular, the qualification firing carried out on the Rafale F4.1 confirmed the compatibility of the AASM 1000 with the new Rafale standard and the performance of the munition on target. The delivery of the first kits to the SIMu was initiated in the wake of this qualification and should continue in 2023.

This new version of the AASM is developed by Safran Electronics & Defense as part of an 85 million Euro contract awarded by the DGA in 2017.

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