USAF awards JASSM Lot 10 production contract to Lockheed


AGM-158 JASSM

Lockheed Martin has been awarded a contract for the supply of Lot 10 production of the Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile (JASSM) and Extended Range (ER) variants to the US Air Force (USAF).

Under the terms of $241.6m contract, Lockheed Martin will supply a total of 191 JASSM baseline missiles, along with 30 ER missiles, test instrumentation kits and systems engineering support to the air force.

Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control business JASSM programme director, Alan Jackson, said the JASSM baseline missile and ER variant provides soldiers with critical capabilities and a wide range of mission options that are not offered by any other system.

''Our ongoing focus is to ensure our customers receive a highly reliable and sustainable weapon system at an affordable price to meet their requirements,'' Jackson added.

The contract represents the tenth production lot for the JASSM baseline missile, and the second for JASSM-ER, after its authorisation for low-rate initial production (LRIP) in January 2011.

Following LRIP award, the JASSM-ER underwent integration test flights, and scored ten out of 11 against a range of targets and mission objectives, and is scheduled to enter LRIP in late 2012.

Featuring an infrared seeker and GPS receiver, the JASSM and JASSM-ER are 2,000lb autonomous, long-range, conventional, air-to-ground, precision standoff missiles designed to destroy high-value, well-defended, fixed and re-locatable targets.

The stealthy missiles are equipped with a dual-mode penetrator and blast fragmentation warhead, and are capable of cruising autonomously day or night in all weather conditions.

The JASSM is installed aboard the USAF's B-1, B-2, B-52, F-16 and F-15E, while the JASSM-ER features on the B-1 bomber, and is also certified for use on the Royal Australian Air Force's F/A-18 Super Hornet aircraft.

Lockheed is also planning to integrate the missiles on the US and international variants of the F-35 Lightning II fighter aircraft and other international platforms.

More than 1,100 JASSMs have been assembled by Lockheed Martin at its manufacturing facility in Alabama, US, for testing and operational use with a total objective of 4,900 JASSM and JASSM-ER missiles.


Image: Lockheed Martin's AGM-158 Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile. Photo: courtesy of the US Air Force.