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AASM bombs are being integrated into Ukrainian F-16 fighters

AASM bombs are being integrated into Ukrainian F-16 fighters

Aviation Aviation armament Europe France Modernization Ukraine World

In future Ukrainian fighters F-16 will be integrated in French AASM Hammer precision bombs.

This was stated by Thomas Gassilloud, MP and chairman of the National Defence and the Armed Forces Committee.

“Significant work is being done to adapt the AASM Hammer bombs to the F-16 aircraft that will be delivered to Ukraine,” Gassilloud said in an interview with the LCI channel.

However, he did not voice other details. It is worth noting that the physical installation of French adjusted bombs on the F-16 is not a problem, because they use the same mount for the Mark 82 bombs.

Accordingly, it can be stated about the integration of new weapons into the fire control system planned for the transfer of European fighters. Obviously, such manipulations can not be done without the aircraft developer Lockheed Martin Corporation.

Such integration has been carried out before and has shown its effectiveness. In 2014, AASM tests were conducted in the United States with F-16 fighters. Then the aircraft of the 40th Flight Test Squadron of the US Air Force, taking off from Eglin Air Force Base, successfully used a new type of weapons in the conditions of the training ground. However, the story then did not gain its continuation.

Earlier, Norwegian Foreign Minister Espen Barth Eide also stated that Norway, together with Danish and Dutch partners, is preparing to transfer F-16 fighters to Ukraine “with longer strike capabilities.”

“We will transfer Norwegian F-16s, which are updated and in good shape. Together with our Danish and Dutch colleagues, we are training Ukrainian pilots. Perhaps there will be even longer-range strike capabilities, which are very important for Ukraine now,” the Minister said.

The topic of modernization of future Ukrainian fighters was raised last year by the Ukrainian side. People’s Deputy Oleksandra Ustinova said that Ukrainian representatives, including the Ministry of Defense, were actively discussing modernization with international partners.

“We are negotiating the modernization of the F-16s that we were promised to receive. Because we need more powerful radars and better missiles for them. It makes no sense to just give us an aircraft with a 60-kilometer radar, like MiGs have,” the MP said. “This is the only way we will be able to detect their planes, which are throwing 500-kilogram bombs at our guys on the front line. At the moment, they’re flying a plane, launching a guided bomb, and we don’t see it,” she says.

AASM Hammer

The AASM is an upgrade kit for already existing unguided bombs like the American JDAMs already used by the Ukrainian tactical aviation.

The kit consists of a front part with a guidance system and flaps and a rear one with an accelerator designed to increase the range.

France has two types of bomb kits in service: Hammer-250 for Mk.82 bombs weighing 227 kg and Hammer-1000 for 908-kilogram Mk.84.

Графічна модель Авіабомби Mk.84 з комплектом Hammer-1000 у розборі.

The nose of the AASM upgrade kit can be equipped with three guidance systems: inertial with GPS correction, inertial with thermal imaging seeker or similar with a laser beam guidance system. The first type of system, according to the developer, has a hit accuracy of 10 meters, and the last two only 1 meter.

Aviation Aviation armament Europe France Modernization Ukraine World