Raytheon unveiled new details about the Precision Attack, Air-to-Surface Missile (PASSM), under development addressing future requirements for airborne multi-sensor precision attack weapons designed against a target set including armored vehicles and buildings, hardened bunkers and small naval targets. PASSM will use the current Hellfire rail launchers, enabling simple integration with AH-64 Apache and Longbow and Super Cobra attack helicopters and MH-60B naval helicopters.
It will use the Hellfire’s M299 launcher but will offer electro-optical (EO) based “fire and forget” capability, providing pilots the advantage of extending stand-off engagement range of 20 km, well beyond the range of short range air defenses. The missile will be equipped with the tri-mode seeker technology developed by Raytheon for the Joint Common Missile (JCM) and Precision Attack Missile (PAM) program, enabling fully autonomous engagement as well as laser designation capability. The seeker is designed for lock-on after launch to optimize long range lethality for attack helicopters.
The missile length is expected to be 63-66 inch, weighing 115-120 pounds. The diameter will be 7 inch multi-mode seeker developed under a U.S. Army system design demonstration (SDD) program. The missile shares much of the technologies developed for the Precision Attack Missile. Each missile will be fitted with a radio, establishing itself as a “node” on the battlefield network. This capability will enable it to receive targeting from multiple on-board and remote sources. A new motor will be used, to reduce flight time and increase range. Motor modularity will enable propulsion improvements as part of the missile’s life cycle.