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US Air Force awards Lockheed almost $391 million for 360 JASSM cruise missiles

Contract includes test vehicles for foreign military sales

Lockheed Martin was awarded an almost $391 million contract for the production of 360 Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile – Extended Range, as well as a number of test vehicles for foreign military sales, the U.S. Department of Defense said in a release.

The $390,792,959 firm-fixed-price, fixed-price-incentive-fee U.S. Air Force contract (FA8682-19-C-0009) includes 360 JASSM-ER cruise missiles, as well as “three foreign military sales (FMS) separation text [sic] vehicles, one FMS flight test vehicle-live fire and tooling and test equipment,” the Friday, October 5 release said.

It is unclear which aircraft or which nation will use the test JASSM-ER missiles ordered, nor which aircraft they will be tested with, but Australia, Finland and Poland have JASSM variants in their weapons inventory.

The JASSM-ER was used in combat for the first time during the April 13 joint strikes on chemical weapons targets in Syria. Two U.S. air Force B-1B Lancer strategic bombers launched 19 JASSM-ER missiles against the Barzeh Research and Development Center near Damascus.

AGM-158 Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile

The Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile is a subsonic long-range, conventional, air-to-ground, precision standoff cruise missile designed to destroy well-defended, fixed and relocatable targets, according to Lockheed Martin.

The 2,000-pound class weapon is fitted with a 450 kg (1000 lb) penetrator/blast fragmentation warhead, and the all-weather day and night missiles use a state-of-the-art infrared seeker in addition to an anti-jam GPS to find and strike its target. Its stealthy airframe makes it extremely difficult to defeat, Lockheed says, and the missile flies low to evade radar.

The extended range JASSM-ER allows targets to be struck more than 500 nautical miles (926 km) from the launch point, more than double the range of the JASSM, according to Lockheed.

Lockheed says JASSM is integrated on U.S. Air Force B-1B, B-2, B-52, F-16 and F-15E. Outside the U.S., JASSM can also be carried by F-18 aircraft, and Lockheed says that future integration efforts will focus on the F-35 Lightning II stealth fighter and “other international platforms.”

The B-1B can carry JASSM-ER, and in February, JASSM-ER achieved full operational capability on the F-15E Strike Eagle. Lockheed says integration efforts are underway on the F-16 and the internal bay and wings of the B-52.

Work continues on JASSM-XR

On September 10, Lockheed was awarded a $51,078,802 U.S. Air Force contract for the Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile Extreme Range (JASSM-XR) that will “concurrently mature a new missile control unit and necessary hardware and infrastructure to support future JASSM-XR production.”

“This contract effort includes all all-up round level systems engineering and programmatic activities to align and phase the work necessary to design, develop, integrate, test, and verify component and subsystem design changes to the JASSM-XR baseline electronics, hardware, firmware, and operational flight software,” the Department of Defense release said.

The contract also allows for will also include preparation for final JASSM-XR all-up round integration, system-level ground and flight testing and qualification, and work is expected to be completed by August 31, 2023.

JASSM-XR is expected to have a range of more than 1,000 miles (1,600 km). Lockheed has reportedly been working on JASSM-XR since 2004, designing a 5,000 pound-class weapon with a 2,000-pound warhead.

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