The U.S. Air Force approved the full-rate production of Lockheed Martin’s [LMT] Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile–Extended Range (JASSM-ER), the company said on Monday.
The JASSM-ER previously completed the Air Force Initial Operational Test and Evaluation (IOT&E) flight testing in 2013. The JASSM-ER had a 95 percent success rate during this initial testing while scoring 20 successes in 21 flights, the company said.
Lots 11 and 12 of the JASSM-ER contract were awarded in December 2013, which included 100 ER missiles.
The JASSM and JASSM-ER are both armed with a dual-mode penetrator and blast fragmentation warhead. The missiles cruise autonomously at all times and weather conditions, Lockheed Martin said. Compared to the JASSM baseline, JASSM-ER has over 2.5 times the range for a larger standoff boundary.
The JASSM-ER is 2,000 pounds, employs an infrared seeker, and uses a Global Positioning System (GPS) receiver to designate specific target aimpoints.
“The full-rate production decision demonstrates that our customer, at all levels of the U.S. Air Force, has confidence in JASSM-ER,” Jason Denney, long-range strike systems program director at Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control, said in a statement.
“JASSM-ER provides warfighters with a first day, first strike capability in an anti-access, area-denial environment.”
Both JASSM and JASSM-ER are “effective against high-value, well-fortified, fixed and relocatable targets,” the company said. The more stealthy JASSM-ER is integrated in the Air Force’s B-1B aircraft. JASSM is integrated on to the Air Force’s B-1, B-2, B-52, F-16, and the F-15E. Additionally, it is on the Royal Australian Air Force’s F/A-18A/B.
Over 1,500 JASSM cruise missiles have been assembled for testing and operational use. The total Air Force objective is 4,900. They are produced at Lockheed Martin’s manufacturing facility in Troy, Ala.