Kongsberg Defence & Aerospace has secured a contract with the Government of Japan to supply the initial deliveries of Joint Strike Missile (JSM) for the country’s fleet of F-35 fighter aircraft.

According to Kongsberg, the JSM is the only long-range sea and land-target missile that can be carried internally in the F-35. The missile is expected to boost the aircraft’s stealth capabilities.

The Norwegian company started the development of the missile in 2008 and completed it last year following a series of validation test firings.

Kongsberg Geir Håøy CEO said: “This is an important international breakthrough, which demonstrates the importance of cooperation between Norwegian authorities, Norwegian Defence Research Establishment and Norwegian industry.”

Furthermore, the company noted that JSM will expand the overall capabilities of the F-35 aircraft.

“In addition to the F-35, the JSM also supports integration on other aircraft intended for offensive anti-surface warfare applications.”

Kongsberg Defence & Aerospace president Eirik Lie said: “The international F-35 user consortium is showing great interest in the JSM and Kongsberg is very proud to have been selected by Japan to provide the JSM for their F-35 fleet. This is a major milestone for the JSM program, entering into the production phase.”

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Neither the company nor the government divulged the financial terms and the volume of the contract.

The JSM was developed under a partnership between Raytheon and Kongsberg.

In addition to the F-35, the JSM also supports integration on other aircraft intended for offensive anti-surface warfare applications.

The long standoff range of the fifth-generation missile offers protection to the aircraft and pilots.

With an advanced mission planning system, the missile can exploit sea and land geography.

The missile uses an accurate navigation system when flying close to terrain. In addition, an advanced imaging infrared seeker enables automatic target recognition.