Aircraft cruise missile AGM-84H "SLAM-ER" ("Standoff Land Attack Missile Expanded Response") is designed to engage surface ships at sea and in places of parking, as well as small highly protected ground targets without entering the enemy's air defense zone.
The main carriers of "SLAM-ER" missiles are deck aircraft F/A-18C/D "Hornet" (F/A-18E/F "Super Hornet"). Firm "Boeing" developed a variant of use in ship missile systems, as well as with ground-based aircraft.
It was adopted for service in the summer 1999.
"SLAM-ER" is the result of consistent modernization of cruise missiles of the previous generation "Harpoon", "SLAM".
The "SLAM-ER" rocket has the usual aerodynamic scheme with a low wing thickness, which provides an increase in the aerodynamic quality factor and, consequently, an increase in the flight range with high subsonic speed. The missile is equipped with a turbojet engine "Teledyne Turdbojet +", the ship version is equipped with a solid fuel accelerator.
In the design of the missile borrowed part of the nodes and elements from the missile "SLAM".
To increase the effectiveness of action against armored targets, an improved warhead is used. As an option, the missile can be equipped with a cassette warhead equipped with self-guided "BAT" warheads, which can be deployed at a distance of 500-1000 m from the sighting point.
The missile control system is integrated with the satellite navigation system, during the flight the GPS (Global Positioning System) sensor constantly corrects the data of the inertial control subsystem "SLAM-ER". This ensures that the missile is pointed at the target point with high accuracy.
The SLAM-ER control system enables the carrier pilot to know the exact trajectory during the entire flight of the missile. A communication channel is also used to transmit target information to the guidance system. The main feature of the SLAM-ER system is the so-called Stop-Motion Aimpoint Update (Stop-Motion Aimpoint Update), which allows the control operator to track the target on the information display device in the cockpit, provides precise target designation and issue a kill command. This unique pointing method allows you to hit even those targets that are not visible in the infrared range.
This system has significant advantages over other types of missiles of the same class. Real-time viewing of the target image allows you to better identify the target, improve the hit effect and, if necessary, redirection, as well as to be directly confident in the success of the mission.
"SLAM-ER+" is the first weapon system in the USA, which includes the system of Automatic Target Acquisition (ATA), developed by Boeing Phantom Works. ATA uses an algorithm for comparing the target photo image template with the image provided by the IR sensor. This system makes the comparison and develops the corresponding commands for the missile control system. In this way, "SLAM-ER+" provides rather reliable target selection without pilot assistance, although the latter has the ability to reconfigure the ATA and select an alternative target, even if the target is already on the screen, or already destroyed. It is assumed that the ATA will significantly expand SLAM-ER's capabilities.
"SLAM-ER performed its first flight on 18 March 1997, with 13 mixed criteria successfully investigated.
In March 1995, the U.S. Navy signed a $99.4 million contract with Boeing for the engineering and production development of the SLAM-ER program. Under this contract Boeing undertakes to supply 157 SLAM-ER, with further production until 2004. Approximately 600 SLAM-ER missiles are to be delivered with further development and upgrading.