The Advanced Strategic Air-Launched Missile (ASALM) was a medium-range strategic missile program, developed in the late 1970s for the United States Air Force. Intended for use in both the air-to-surface and anti-AWACS roles, the missile's development reached the stage of propulsion-system tests before being cancelled in 1980.
Martin Marietta ASALM
|Place of origin||United States|
|Used by||United States Air Force|
|Mass||2,700 pounds (1,200 kg)|
|Length||14 feet (4.3 m)|
|Blast yield||200 kilotonnes of TNT (840 TJ)|
|300 miles (480 km)|
|Inertial + passive antiradiation and active radar homing for air-to-air mode|
Design and development
Development of the Advanced Strategic Air-Launched Missile was initiated in 1976. The ASALM was intended to replace the AGM-69 SRAM in United States Air Force service, providing improved speed and range over the earlier missile, as well as improved performance against hardened targets. In addition, the requirement specified that the ASALM should be capable of operating in a secondary air-to-air mode against AWACS radar-warning aircraft. Martin Marietta and McDonnell Douglas submitted proposals for the contract, the former's design using a Marquardt propulsion system; the latter's, one developed by United Technologies Corporation; the Martin Marietta design was favored by the Air Force
The size of ASALM was limited by the requirement that it use the same launchers as the earlier SRAM. The missile would be steered by small fins at the tail, but lacked wings; the shape of the body combined with the high flight speed were to provide sufficient lift.
Guidance was planned to be provided during mid-course flight by an inertial navigation system, while terminal guidance would use a dual-mode seeker. Propulsion would be provided by an integrated rocket-ramjet, which would act as a solid-fuel rocket during boost, with the rocket's casing, following exhaustion of its propellant and the ejection of the rocket nozzle and a fairing covering an air inlet, becoming a combustion chamber for an air-breathing ramjet, which was planned to use Shelldyne-H fuel. The missile was expected to be carried by the B-1 bomber, or alternatively by a developed version of the FB-111.
Starting in October 1979, a series of flight tests of Propulsion Technology Validation missiles, using a Marquardt rocket-ramjet, were conducted. Over the course of seven test firings, a maximum speed of Mach 5.5 at an altitude of 40,000 feet (12,000 m) was achieved.
Despite the successful testing, the ASALM program was suspended following the seventh PTV test flight in May 1980; reductions in the defense budget, combined with the development of the subsonic AGM-86 ALCM, led to the cancellation of the program later that year.
- Parsch 2003
- Gunston 1983, p.88.
- Aldridge 1983, pp.150-151.
- Dornan 1978, p.222.
- Parsch, Andreas (2003). "Martin Marietta ASALM". Directory of U.S. Military Rockets and Missiles. designation-systems.net. Archived from the original on 15 December 2010. Retrieved 31 December 2010.
- Aldridge, Robert C. (1999). First Strike! The Pentagon's Strategy for Nuclear War. Boston: South End Press. ISBN 0-89608-154-0.
- Dornan, Dr. James E., Jr., ed. (1978). The US War Machine. London: Salamander Books. ISBN 0-517-53543-2.
- Gunston, Bill (1983). An Illustrated Guide to Modern Airborme Missiles. London: Salamander Books. ISBN 978-0-86101-160-5.