September 21, 2005 Lockheed Martin has successfully conducted a sled test of its Compact Kinetic Energy Missile (CKEM) recently at the High Speed Test Track at Holloman Air Force Base, New Mexico. The test evaluated penetration data and the lethality mechanism of the CKEM missiles' design. Test objectives were achieved. The missile was accelerated by test track rocket motors to a velocity representing a long-range mission, and was tested against an armored tank turret. A second lethality test is scheduled for later this year, and will be against an up-armored tank. Lockheed Martin is co-funding the tests with the U.S. Army Aviation Missile Research Development and Engineering Center (AMRDEC) in Huntsville, AL.
"We are looking forward to placing CKEM capabilities in the hands of our Soldiers," said Loretta Painter, AMRDEC CKEM ATD program manager. "CKEM will provide both current and future forces with overwhelming lethality, high probability of first-round kill as well as near fire-and-forget capability. It has demonstrated extreme lethality against bunkers, structures and armored targets at both short and extended ranges."
"CKEM proved once again to be an overwhelmingly lethal and accurate system," said Reggie Grant, Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control's CKEM program director. "Our ultimate goal is to produce a missile that works the first time, every time for our Soldiers, and successful completion of these tests will ensure a more mature missile design when we enter the System Design and Demonstration (SDD) phase."
AMRDEC has successfully performed more than 21 CKEM tests between 2001 and 2004. Further tests of Lockheed Martin's CKEM are scheduled in 2005, and will be sponsored and supported by AMRDEC. The purpose of these tests will be to validate the lethality against selected target sets. The CKEM missile uses hit-to-kill kinetic energy to destroy the target and does not have a classic ordinance-based warhead.
The CKEM is the next generation hypervelocity anti-tank missile. It is 60 inches long and weighs less than 100 pounds. CKEM will have an extended range for direct fire, line-of-sight engagements and will provide the Infantry Brigade Combat Teams, STRYKER Brigades and Future Combat System (FCS) platforms overwhelming lethality overmatch against all potential target sets. CKEM will provide an extended range kill capability that does not exist in currently fielded ground-to-ground anti-armor systems.
Lockheed Martin received an $82 million contract to begin an Advanced Technology Demonstration (ATD) of the CKEM in 2003. Successful completion of sled tests and ATD work will ensure the missile is ready to enter the SDD phase of development in the fall of 2006. Work on the contract will be performed at the company's facilities in Dallas and El Paso, TX, and Camden, AR.