Lockheed May Gain $4.4bn from JASS Missiles

8 November 2009 (Last Updated November 8th, 2009 18:30)

Lockheed Martin may receive new orders from the US Air force for its joint air-to-surface stand-off missiles (JASSMs), after its was successful in 15 out of 16 hits in recent tests. The US Air Force may buy 3,847 additional JASSMs before 2023, which are expected to be valued at $4.4bn

Lockheed Martin may receive new orders from the US Air force for its joint air-to-surface stand-off missiles (JASSMs), after its was successful in 15 out of 16 hits in recent tests.

The US Air Force may buy 3,847 additional JASSMs before 2023, which are expected to be valued at $4.4bn if the missile programme passes a Pentagon review in early December 2009.

The missile is designed to evade radar and hit heavily defended targets 200 miles away with pinpoint accuracy, and can be launched from at least five different air force and navy aircraft.

Although the missile was announced as combat-ready and deployed five years back, only six of ten missiles detonated on impact or hit their target in 2008 tests.

The air force's top weapons manager Major General Charles Davis was quoted by Bloomberg as saying that Lockheed did a very good job diagnosing and correcting the failures from previous shots.

The firm has incorporated manufacturing changes and implemented improvements in screening the quality of parts shipped to its plant to achieve the recent missile success rate.

The air force will also award Lockheed a $1m bonus for scoring 15 successes in the tests last month.