The US Air Force’s (USAF) Strategic Development Planning and Experimentation (SDPE) office has completed a live-fire test of a joint air-to-surface standoff missile-extended range (JASSM-ER).
It was conducted in collaboration with the US Special Operations Command Europe (SOCEUR), from the Andøya Space Defense Range in Norway on 9 November.
The test was performed as part of a US European Command-approved and SOCEUR-led operational series, called ATREUS.
The latest iteration, ATREUS 22-4, was seventh in the European theatre series while it marked the first joint effort between the US and allied nations, including Norway, Romania, the UK and Poland.
The demonstration was also part of the SDPE-led/developed Rapid Dragon Experimentation programme, which falls under the Air Force Research Laboratory’s Integrated Capabilities Directorate.
Rapid Dragon aims to test the operational utility of delivering long-range weapons from military cargo aircraft.
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The programme’s expanded scope, which earlier only covered kinetic munitions, now includes palletised munitions/effects, cargo resupply, humanitarian aid, as well as intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance platforms.
The latest test involved the deployment of a Rapid Dragon palletised effects system, comprising a JASSM-ER long-range, precision-guided cruise missile, with an MC-130J Commando II aircraft, assigned under the 352nd Special Operations Wing.
During the demonstration, a palletised effects system carrying long-range cruise missiles was airdropped by MC-130J aircrew. The missiles were then gradually released over the Norwegian Sea.
AFRL commander major general Heather Pringle said: “Rapid Dragon is a fantastic example of the speed at which technologists and warfighters can work –design, development, prototyping and experimentation of new capabilities can get to the field on operationally relevant timelines.”
Other participants in the test included –US Indo-Pacific Command, Air Force Europe-Air Forces Africa, Naval Sea Systems Command, Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control, Andøya Space Center, among others.