Lockheed Martin has been awarded a contract to support additional installation of joint air-to-surface standoff missiles (JASSM) on the Finnish Air Force’s (FiAF) F-18C/D Super Hornet aircraft.
Awarded by the US Air Force (USAF), the $34.2m foreign military sales (FMS) contract covers the supply of test missiles, software development and engineering documentation.
It follows several recent JASSM programme milestones, including the successful completion of Lot 6 baseline missile reliability assessment testing in February, and the completion of JASSM- Extended Range (ER) initial operational test and evaluation programme leading to recommendation for full-rate production.
Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control long-range strike systems international programme manager Bob Adams said the missile’s capabilities and proven reliability will play a significant role in helping Finland achieve its national defence objectives.
”We are on schedule to support the operational requirements of the Finnish Air Force’s F-18 mid-life upgrade effort,” Adams added.
Representing the JASSM’s second international customer, Finland awarded the first $5.1m contract that initiated the missile’s six-year integration, production and sustainment effort in December 2012.
Airworthiness activities under the contract are scheduled to be carried out at Naval Station Patuxent River in Maryland, US, followed by flight testing at the Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division in China Lake, California, US.
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.
Currently installed aboard the USAF’s F-15E, B-1, B-2, B-52, F-16 aircraft, the missile is also certified for use on the Royal Australian Air Force’s F/A-18 Super Hornet fighter fleet.
More than 1,200 JASSMs have been manufactured by Lockheed to date at its manufacturing facility in Alabama, US, for testing and operational use, with a total objective of 4,900 missiles.
Image: USAF technicians prepare to load a JASSM missile into a B-1 Lancer at Ellsworth Air Force Base in South Dakota, US. Photo: US Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Angela Ruiz/Released.