The AGM-158A joint air-to-surface stand-off missile (JASSM) has successfully achieved final operational capability (FOC) with the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF), Australian Defence Minister David Johnston has revealed.
Johnston said the JASSM is now fully in service and is an extremely capable, long range missile that addresses the future requirements of the air force.
"Successful JASSM integration forms a key piece of the strike capability and ensures that Air Force can meet future operational demands," Johnston said.
Royal Australian Air Force chief air marshal Geoff Brown said the FOC is a significant achievement for the air force and is a major milestone for its air combat capability.
"This long range, highly accurate missile can be released far from enemy targets, keeping RAAF aircrew out of harm's way without compromising mission objectives," Brown said.
Acquired under the AIR 5418 Project, the JASSM achieved initial operational capability (IOC) in 2011, following successful test firings at the Woomera Test Range in South Australia.
Manufactured by Lockheed Martin, 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 on the battlefield.
Equipped with a 1,000lb penetrator/blast fragmentation conventional warhead, and an infrared seeker and a GPS receiver to aim specific targets, the stealthy missile is integrated on USAF's B-1B, B-2, B-52, F-16 and F-15E, as well as the RAAF's F/A-18A/B Super Hornet fighter.
The future integration efforts of JASSM, which is manufactured at Lockheed's manufacturing facility in Alabama, US, 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.
Image: A mock up of Lockheed Martin's AGM-158 joint air-to-surface standoff missile. Photo: courtesy of US Air Force.