EGLIN AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. – Missile designers at Lockheed Martin Corp. will handle systems upgrades and integration support for advanced air-to-ground missiles over the next five years under terms of a $450 million contract announced last week.
Officials of the U.S. Air Force Life Cycle Management Center at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., are asking the Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control segment in Orlando, Fla., for production support for the Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile (JASSM).
The contract calls for Lockheed Martin to handle JASSM system upgrades, integration, production, sustainment, management and logistical support.
JASSM is an autonomous, air-to-ground, precision-guided standoff missile that has a penetrator and blast fragmentation warhead. The missile cruises autonomously, day or night and in all weather conditions. It has an infrared seeker and enhanced digital anti-jam global positioning system (GPS) to find specific points on targets.
The latest version of the missile is the AGM-158B Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile – Extended Range (JASSM-ER), which has a 2,250-pound cruise missile with a 1,000-pound penetrator and blast-fragmentation warhead.
JASSM, which has been in service since 2009, is a long-range, conventional, air-to-ground, precision standoff missile for U.S. and allied forces that is designed to destroy high-value, well-defended, fixed and relocatable targets. The JASSM has a range of 230 miles, while the JASSM-ER has a range of 620 miles.
The stealthy JASSM missiles have standoff ranges to keep air crews well out of danger from hostile air defense systems, while their stealthy airframes makes the smart munitions extremely difficult to defeat, Lockheed Martin officials say.
The AGM-158B JASSM-ER is a stealthy cruise missile that flies a preplanned route from launch to a target, using Global Positioning System (GPS) satellite navigation guidance and an inertial navigation system. It has an infrared seeker for terminal guidance.
JASSM can be fired from several different aircraft, including the B-1, B-2, B-52, F-16, F/A-18E/F, and F-15E. International JASSM users include the Australian, Finnish, and Polish air forces.
Looking to the future, Lockheed Martin is working on the JASSM to enable the missile to fire from U.S. and international versions of the Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II joint strike fighter aircraft and other international military aircraft.
On this order Lockheed Martin will do the work in Orlando, Fla., and should be finished by June 2027. For more information contact Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control online at www.lockheedmartin.com/en-us/who-we-are/business-areas/missiles-and-fire-control.html, or the Air Force Life Cycle Management Center at www.aflcmc.af.mil.