JASSM missile

ITT Exelis has been awarded a contract for the production and delivery of complex structures for Lockheed Martin’s Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile (JASSM).

Valued at $10m, the Lot 10 production contract covers supply of unspecified units of composite missile bodies and structures for both the baseline and extended-range versions of JASSM missile.

The company is expected to leverage its composite fabrication expertise in braiding, resin transfer mould and vacuum-assisted resin transfer moulding for production of automated, low-cost and high-quality structural parts.

Exelis Aerostructures business vice-president and general manager Mike Blair said: ”This contract utilises our breadth of composite solutions and extends our application of innovative process technologies to create greater value for our customer.”

More than 1,500 missile bodies and structures have been manufactured to date by Exelis in support of the JASSM programme.

"More than 1,500 missile bodies and structures have been manufactured to date by Exelis in support of the JASSM programme."

Equipped with an infrared seeker and a GPS receiver to aim specific targets, JASSM is a 2,000lb autonomous, long-range, air-to-ground, precision standoff missile, designed to destroy high-value, well-defended, fixed and re-locatable targets in the battlefield.

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Currently installed aboard the USAF’s F-15E, B-1, B-2, B-52, F-16 aircraft, the missile is also certified for use onboard the Royal Australian Air Force’s (RAAF) F/A-18 Super Hornet fighter fleet.

A long-range version of the baseline JASSM missile, JASSM-extended range (ER) features a new engine and greater fuel load capability, and can function in heavily degraded GPS environments.

Lockheed has to date manufactured more than 1,200 JASSMs at its manufacturing facility in Alabama, US, for testing and operational use, with a total objective of 4,900 missiles.

Manufacturing work will be carried out by Exelis Aerostructures in Salt Lake City, Utah, US, while deliveries are scheduled to be completed by June 2014.

Image: USAF technicians loading a JASSM missile into a B-1 Lancer at Ellsworth Air Force Base in South Dakota, US. Photo: courtesy of Airman 1st Class Angela Ruiz/Released.

Defence Technology