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Lockheed to supply 158 JASSM cruise missiles to USAF

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A B-1B bomber of the US Air Force releases a Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile. A USAF Photo

ORLANDO (BNS): US defence major Lockheed Martin, which successfully tested a Joint Air-To-Surface Standoff Missile (JASSM) last month, has received an order from the US Air Force to supply 158 such systems to it at a cost of $243.5 million.

This is the eighth production lot of the missile system ordered by the USAF, bringing the total contracted quantities of the long range cruise missile to over 1200, Lockheed said.

Under the deal, the company will provide the missiles along with fuze reliability, parts obsolescence efforts, test instrumentation kits, system reliability and flight test support.

Lockheed, had on January 12, conducted a product upgrade verification test of the JASSM from on board a B-52 strategic aircraft.

“With the recent success of Lot 7 reliability testing, a successful test flight of a production upgrade vehicle, and the award of this contract, JASSM is back on track,” US Air Force Deputy Program Manager for JASSM, Lt. Col. Jeff Gates, said.

The JASSM is an autonomous, long-range, conventional, air-to-ground, precision standoff cruise missile. It is designed to destroy high-value, well-defended, fixed and relocatable targets. The weapon uses a state-of-the-art infrared seeker and anti-jam GPS to focus on its target.

The 975-kg missile flies at subsonic speed and carries 450 kg penetrator/blast fragmentation warhead. It has been test launched from numerous platforms including the B-1, B-2 and F-16 aircraft. Its future platforms include F-15E, F/A-18 and F-35 fighter aircraft.

The US Air Force intends to induct 4,900 JASSMs and its longer range JASSM-ER.

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