The Air Force awarded Lockheed Martin [LMT] a $34.2 million foreign military sale (FMS) contract to support additional integration of the Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile (JASSM) onto Finnish Air Force F-18C/D aircraft, according to a company statement.
Lockheed Martin spokeswoman Mellissa Hilliard said yesterday the additional integration tasks include some building expansion at the company’s Troy, Ala., facility, software builds to support the program, integrated logistics support, engineering documentation and program management.
|An artist’s rendering of Lockheed Martin’s JASSM. Photo: Lockheed Martin.|
This second contract for Finland also includes test missiles. The first contract, awarded in 2012, initiated this six-year integration, production and sustainment effort. Finland is the second international customer for JASSM with Australia being the first, according to Hilliard.
The program is a joint effort between the Navy, Air Force, Lockheed Martin and the Finnish Air Force. Key airworthiness activities including captive carry flights, flying qualities and characteristics testing and wind tunnel testing will occur at Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Md., Hilliard said. Overall, airworthiness activities are a multi-year effort currently scheduled to take place between first quarter 2014 and fourth quarter 2017, Hilliard said.
Following flight testing at NAS Patuxent River, Hilliard said flight testing at Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division in China Lake, Calif., will take place between mid-2016 and late 2017.
The contract award follows several recent JASSM program milestones. Lockheed Martin announced successful completion of the Lot 6 Reliability Assessment Program in February and completion of the JASSM-Extended Range (JASSM-ER) initial operational test and evaluation (IOT&E) program in May, which resulted in recommendation for full-rate production (FRP). An official FRP decision for JASSM-ER is expected later this year. The first lot of JASSM-ER missiles is currently in production for delivery between July and September (Defense Daily, May 14).
Lockheed Martin also expects to perform a critical design review (CDR) this year for JASSM’s new FMU-162/B Electronic Safe and Arm Fuse (ESAF). The company is currently performing engineering development for ESAF as a replacement for the electro-mechanical fuses currently used on JASSM. Lockheed Martin expects to have ESAF design completed, fully qualified and ready for production by 2015 (Defense Daily, Feb. 28).
JASSM, a $6 billion program, came close to being canceled in 2009 after years of test failures where the weapon failed to detonate on impact due to harness cable issues (Defense Daily, May 18, 2009).
JASSM is an autonomous, air-to-ground, precision-guided standoff missile. Armed with a penetrator and a blast fragmentation warhead, JASSM cruises autonomously, day or night in all weather conditions. The missile employs an infrared seeker and enhanced digital anti-jam Global Positioning System (GPS) to find specific points on targets.
JASSM is integrated on the Air Force’s B-1, B-2, B-52, F-16 and F-15E while being integrated internationally on Australia’s F/A-18A/B. Future integration efforts will focus on United States and international versions of the F-35 and other platforms.