September 28, 2006 Things are progressing swimmingly for the Compact Kinetic Energy Missile (CKEM) following a successful guided test flight of its Compact Kinetic Energy Missile (CKEM) against a reinforced urban structure (RUS) recently at Eglin Air Force Base. CKEM is the next generation anti-tank missile. It is less than 60 inches long and weighs less than 100 pounds, yet has an extended range for direct fire, line-of-sight engagements and provides the Infantry Brigade Combat Teams, Stryker Brigades and Future Combat System 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.
In addition to demonstrating CKEM's capability against a RUS, the test also gathered performance data about the missile's guidance system and collected thermal, shock and vibration effects data. This flight was the second of four guided test flights scheduled for this calendar year.
"This test demonstrated CKEM against a reinforced structure at the missile's maximum kinetic energy," said Loretta Painter, CKEM Advanced Technology Demonstration (ATD) program manager at the U.S. Army Research and Development Command (RDECOM), Aviation and Missile Research, Development, and Engineering Center (AMRDEC), Redstone Arsenal, AL. "This test collected target effects data to assess the lethality potential of CKEM against various targets, and substantiates what CKEM could provide the warfighter."
The remaining flight tests planned for this year are designed to demonstrate CKEM's ability to fill current lethality gaps against enhanced reactive armor. CKEM will be particularly effective in bridging the Army's capability gaps identified for the Infantry Brigade Combat Team and the Stryker Brigade Combat Team by ensuring lethality overmatch at both close and extended ranges.
"Lockheed Martin and the Army are one step closer to providing the warfighter with a next generation, extended-range capability that currently does not exist," said Rick Edwards, vice president - Tactical Missiles at Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control. "CKEM technology has greatly evolved and is now aligned with the requirements of the Modular Force."