France’s Delegation Generale pour l’Armement (DGA) has acquired 680 units of armament air-sol modulaire (AASM) air-to-ground weapons to equip the air force’s Rafale combat aircraft.

The DGA acquired the AASMs from Sagem, under a long-term contract signed in late December 2009. The contract entails the acquisition of a total of 3,400 AASMs, for the air force and the navy.

The AASMs are equipped with guidance and range augmentation kits integrated on a standard 250kg bomb. With a range over 50km they can be fired from stand-off distances day or night, in all weather conditions.

Depending on aircraft flight path, the AASM can be released at low altitude, and can also be fired off-axis.

The AASM’s high precision and capability to strike its target vertically make it perfect for difficult terrain or urban environments. It is available in three versions to suit all tactical situations.

The first two versions of the AASM include inertial guidance / GPS and inertial guidance/GPS attached to an infrared imager.

The DGA acquired 300 AASMs in the first version and 380 in the laser version.

The French Air Force has been using the inertial guidance / GPS AASM in Afghanistan since 2007.