The US Air Force has ordered 12 joint air-to-surface standoff missile-extended range (JASSM-ER) test missiles from Lockheed to be used in flights tests.

The air force will use six missiles to complete the development test flight programme while the rest will be used in operational tests.

The tests will validate the maturity of the missiles and pave the way for low-rate initial production.

The flight tests from the missiles will take place from a B-1B aircraft and will engage various tactical targets.

The JASSM-ER has achieved four-for-four success in developmental flight tests.

The missiles offer responsive, precision-engagement capability, while staying away from highly-defended airspace and beyond the range of long-range, surface-to-air missiles.

The JASSM-ER programme aims to provide an operational capability more than 2.5 times the baseline missile range.

The US Air Force will receive the missiles tactically configured with an added test instrumentation kit.