Lockheed Martin to build GPS-guided missiles with infrared seeker technology for launch from B-2 bombers

May 25, 2023
The JASSM-ER is a 2,250-pound cruise missile with a 1,000-pound penetrator and blast-fragmentation warhead that uses precision routing and guidance.

EGLIN AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. – Missile designers at Lockheed Martin Corp. will build advanced air-to-ground missiles for use aboard the B-2 Spirit stealth bomber and aboard other U.S. and allied aircraft under terms of a $750.6 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., to build lot-21 AGM-158B Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile – Extended Range (JASSM-ER) stealthy air-to-ground missiles with containers. The contract also involves sales of the JASSM to Australia.

The JASSM-ER is a 2,250-pound cruise missile with a 1,000-pound penetrator and blast-fragmentation warhead. It uses precision routing and guidance in adverse weather, day or night, using an infrared seeker in addition to the anti-jam GPS to find a specific aim point on the target. The order includes hardware spares.

Related: Lockheed Martin to build 57 missiles with radio homing and infrared guidance to hit targets 300 miles away

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 internal navigation system. It has an infrared seeker for terminal guidance.

Related: Air Force orders 308 advanced air-to-ground smart missiles with infrared sensors and inertial navigation

In addition to the B-2, JASSM can be fired from the B-1, B-52, F-16, F/A-18E/F, and F-15E aircraft. International JASSM users include the Australian, Finnish, and Polish air forces. The JASSM first was test-fired from the B-2 in December 2021.

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 Troy, Ala., and should be finished by January 2026. 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.

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