$245M to Lockheed Martin for 160 AGM-158 JASSMs
Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control in Orlando, FL received a $245 million contract to produce 160 AGM-158 Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missiles (JASSM). The contract include both baseline and extended range missiles to support the US Air Force and Foreign Military Sales customers.
The AGM-158 JASSM is intended to be a stealthy, inexpensive cruise missile that would let American aircraft attack well-defended targets – without putting them in the crosshairs of new long-range surface to air missile systems.
The system has experienced a rocky development history. In 2005 it was threatened with cancellation following a series of poor test results. The program went through 2007 on an ongoing roller coaster of ups and downs, as it faced sharp media criticism. And in May 2009 it appeared the program was facing cancellation once again.
Despite these bumps in the road, the USAF appears to be moving ahead with Lot 8 production. Lot 8 includes up to 391 JASSMs and JASSM-Extended Range systems.
JASSM is a precision cruise missile designed for launch from outside area defenses to kill hard, medium-hardened, soft, and area type targets. After launch, it flies autonomously at a low-level, circuitous route to the area of a target, where a terminal guidance system guides the missile in for a direct hit.
JASSM’s midcourse guidance is provided by a GPS-aided inertial navigation system (INS) protected by a high, anti-jam GPS null steering antenna system. In the terminal phase, JASSM is guided by an imaging infrared seeker and a general pattern match-autonomous target recognition system that provides aimpoint detection, tracking and strike.