Defense giant Lockheed Martin reports now it earned two contracts last month to produce Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missiles, as well as the JASSM ER variant, for the U.S. Air Force. The manufacturer said the two contracts are worth $449 million. Both versions of the missile will be built at Lockheed’s plant in Troy, Ala.
The Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile (JASSM) is a “standoff” cruise missile in service since 2009. The Extended Range (ER) variant entered service last year.
The USAF deploys the JASSM on the B-1B, B-2, B-52 bombers and F-16 and F-15E fighter jets, and the JASSM-ER is carried on the B-1B bomber. The Royal Australian Air Force has adopted the JASSM for its F/A-18A/B jets, and recently Lockheed had Foreign Military Sales contracts with Finland approved to supply the missiles there.
JASSM missiles are armed with a dual-mode penetrator and blast-fragmentation warhead. They can cruise autonomously day or night in all weather conditions.
JASSM-ER has more than two-and-a-half times the range of the baseline JASSM, the manufacturer reported, so it has “a greater standoff margin.” The missiles operate with an infrared seeker and Global Positioning System receiver to locate specific targets.
The new orders represent Lots 11 and 12 in the JASSM production program, and the third and fourth production lots for JASSM-ER. Lockheed will build 340 of the basic missile and 100 of the ER missile.
The contracts also include systems engineering, logistics support, tooling, and test equipment, Lockheed stated.
It is the first time that the JASSM program has been awarded consecutive production lots at one time.
"These contracts bring the total number of JASSM cruise missiles on contract to over 2,100, and underscore the U.S. Air Force's and Lockheed Martin's commitment to the program," stated Long Range Strike Systems program director Jason Denney. "JASSM's high reliability and capability allow it to defeat high-value, well-defended current and future threats."