The US Air Force (USAF) has awarded two contracts to Lockheed Martin for continued production of the joint air-to-surface standoff missile (JASSM) and its extended range (ER) variant.
In addition to the production of 340 baseline missiles and 100 ER missiles, the $449m Lot 11 and Lot 12 contracts also include systems engineering, logistics support, tooling and test equipment.
Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control Long Range Strike Systems programme director Jason Denney said the contracts underscore the air force and the company’s commitment to the programme, and bring the total number of JASSM cruise missiles on contract to more than 2,100.
”JASSM’s high reliability and capability allow it to defeat high-value, well-defended current and future threats,” Denney said.
The contract awards follow several JASSM programme milestones, including foreign military sales (FMS) contracts to integrate JASSM onto the Finnish Air Force’s F/A-18C/D aircraft.
Equipped with an infrared seeker and a GPS receiver to aim specific targets, the 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.
A long-range version of the baseline JASSM, JASSM-extended range (ER) features a new engine and greater fuel load capability, and can function in heavily degraded GPS environments.
The stealthy JASSM is integrated on USAF’s B-1B, B-2, B-52, F-16 and F-15E, as well as onboard the Royal Australian Air Force’s (RAAF) F/A-18A/B Super Hornet fighter, while the JASSM-ER variant is mounted on US’s B-1B bomber.
The JASSM’s future integration efforts are expected to focus on the US and international variants of the F-35 Lightning II joint strike fighter (JSF) aircraft and other international platforms.
The contracts’ delivery schedule remains undisclosed.
Image: USAF aircraft armament system specialists prepare to load the JASSM into a B-1 Lancer aircraft at Ellsworth Air Force Base in South Dakota, US. Photo: courtesy of USAF Airman 1st Class Angela Ruiz/Released.