Finnish F-16

Lockheed Martin has been awarded a contract to support additional integration of the joint air-to-surface standoff missile (JASSM) onto the Finnish Air Force’s (FAF) F-18C/D Hornet fighter aircraft.

Awarded by the US Air Force (USAF), the $13.3m foreign military sales (FMS) contract covers wind tunnel models and test support, software development completion, logistics support and engineering documentation.

Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control long-range strike systems international programme manager Bob Adams said, ”The additional work that will be performed under this contract is an important step toward preparing for airworthiness activities on the Finnish F-18C/D.”

The airworthiness activities are scheduled to be carried out at Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Maryland, followed by flight testing at the Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division in China Lake, California, US.

"The airworthiness activities are scheduled to be carried out at Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Maryland."

The contract represents an overall third order for Finland, following a 2012 contract that initiated a six-year integration, production and sustainment effort, and a $34.2m contract awarded in June 2013 for test missiles, software development and engineering documentation, in addition to tooling, process development and equipment for facility expansion.

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.

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Manufactured at Lockheed’s facility in Troy, Alabama, US, the stealthy missile 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.

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.

Work under the contract is scheduled to complete by third quarter of 2016.

Image: Lockheed will support additional integration of the JASSM onto the Finnish Air Force’s F-18C/D Hornet fighter. Photo: courtesy of Arpingstone.

Defence Technology