AGM-158 JASSM: Lockheed’s Family of Stealthy Cruise Missiles
Dec 15/14: FRP. Almost 4 years after Milestone C, Lockheed Martin announced that the U.S. Air Force has approved full rate production for JASSM-ER.
The 2,000 pound AGM-158 JASSM (Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile) is intended to be a stealthy, inexpensive GPS/IIR (Global Positioning system/ Imaging InfraRed) guided cruise missile. It’s designed to attack well-defended targets without putting its carrier aircraft in the crosshairs of new long-range surface to air missile systems. JASSM has experienced a rocky development history, due to long-standing reliability issues. 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, and by May 2009 it appeared the program was facing cancellation once again.
A production hiatus did take place between Lot 7 and FY 2010’s Lot 8 in FY 2010, but test results allowed the USAF to move forward, and the missile is beginning to win export orders.
The JASSM Missile Family
JASSM family missiles are guided by a combination of GPS/INS positioning en route, and Imaging Infrared (IIR) for final targeting. They carry a dual-mode penetrator and blast fragmentation warhead at subsonic speed, in a body shape designed to have a very low radar profile.
The US military intends to buy over 5,000 missiles in this family: 2,400 JASSMs, and 2,978 JASSM-ERs. AGM-158 JASSM production looks set to end around FY 2021, but planned AGM-158B JASSM-ER orders would keep the production line going into the late 2020s, and possibly beyond. Customers include the USA, Australia, Finland, the Netherlands, and Poland.
The AGM-158 JASSM is currently integrated on B-2A Spirit stealth bombers, B-1B Lancer, and B-52H Stratofortress bombers. On the fighter front, its platforms include the F-15E Strike Eagle, F-16 Falcon (MLU standard & Block 50), and the Royal Australian Air Force’s upgraded F/A-18 AM/BM Hornets. Finland is following suit for its own F/A-18C/D Hornets.
The US military intends to add the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet family to this list, and to extend F-16 compatibility to earlier Block 40 models. JASSM will also be carried by the F-35, eventually, but it’s no longer on the list of weapons for certification by the end of the development program. If and when it’s certified for the F-35 family after 2020, it will have to be carried externally, because it’s too large for the internal weapon bays.
Unit cost for the baseline AGM-158 JASSM is currently around $1 million per missile, but the USAF hopes to bring that down to around $800,000 eventually. Don’t forget the ongoing maintenance costs, either: Lockheed Martin has a 2012-2017 support contract underway for the entire weapon family.
JASSM-ER: Long Range Reach
The AGM-158B JASSM-ER maintains the same mold line and size, but it substitutes a Williams International turbofan for the baseline JASSM’s Teledyne turbojet, and adds extra fuel within the missile body, without dropping payload or electronics capabilities. The 2 variants share 70% of their hardware, and 95% of their software.
The result is an extension of the missile’s range from “over 200 nm” to “over 500 nm”. JASSM-ER has also been certified for use in environments where GPS is heavily jammed, or not available.
JASSM-ER unit cost is eventually expected to be around $1.25 million per missile, but current costs are running around $1.75 million.
The USAF says that AGM-158B JASSM-ER will eventually be integrated with as very similar plane set: B-1 Lancer, B-2 Spirit, B-52 Stratofortress, F-15E Strike Eagle, F-16 Falcon (Block 25+), F/A-18E/F Super Hornet, and F-35A-C Lightning II.
Under current USAF plans, the B-1 Lancer will be the only plane certified with the new missile for the next few years. The B-1’s 24-missile payload capacity is double the B-52’s, and the new missile will make the USAF’s Lancer fleet its key strike force in the Pacific theater. Even as operating costs per flight hour are putting very large crosshairs on that same fleet’s continued existence.
The Navy may have an answer. A variant of JASSM-ER called LRASM will add F/A-18 Super Hornets as a carrying platform, with orders beginning in FY 2017, as part of the Offensive Anti-Surface Warfare (OASuW) program that’s also designed to hit targets like ships. OASuW’s next phase promises will focus on shipborne vertical launch capabilities, and LRASM is just one of several potential competitors for that phase of the program. Even if LRASM isn’t picked for that phase, Lockheed Martin is likely to cycle some of its design and technology improvements back into the JASSM family.
The JASSM family has several international competitors, with MBDA’s Storm Shadow leading the pack. Storm Shadow was used over Libya by French and British aircraft, and a SCALP Naval variant offers very long range strike from submarines, or from shipborne Sylver A70 vertical launch cells.
MBDA & Saab’s Taurus KEPD 350, Raytheon’s powered JSOW-ER, and Boeing’s AGM-84K SLAM-ER also represent sub-sonic air-launched cruise missiles with some level of stealth, and similar range to the base AGM-158. Norway’s NSM/JSM is about to add itself to that mix, and will fit inside the F-35. The JASSM family can’t match that stealthy internal carriage, which may open a significant global niche for Kongsberg.
Russian strike missile designs, and derivatives like the Russo-Indian PJ-10 BrahMos, emphasize speed over stealth, and aren’t compatible with the same base platforms. They aren’t really competitors in the same niche.
Contracts & Key Events
Unless otherwise noted, JASSM contracts are issued to Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control in Orlando, FL. Note that naval LRASM/ OASuW contracts and events are covered separately.
Full rate production approved.
Dec 15/14: FRP. Almost 4 years after Milestone C, Lockheed Martin announced that the U.S. Air Force has approved full rate production for JASSM-ER.
Dec 11/14: Poland. Reuters reported on Dec. 5 that Poland’s JASSM order is worth about $250M and should be officially confirmed on December 11. And indeed the contract was officially confirmed on that date. First the Americans will upgrade Poland’s F-16s, as well as their software to Operational Flight Plan M6.5 tape. Missile deliveries should then follow in the second half of 2016.
The US congress had already approved the sale of 40 missiles to Poland (q.v. Oct 4/14), and in November Reuters had reported that the deal was underway for Poland’s initial JASSM missiles and F-16 upgrade, so this has been a well-scripted ramp-up to the contract:
“Deputy Defence Minister Czeslaw Mroczek also told reporters negotiations have been concluded for the purchase of 40 JASSM long-range air-to-surface missiles for its 48-strong fleet of F-16…. the agreement will be signed in December and the missiles will be fully operational in March 2017, Mroczek said.”
Sources: Reuters, “Lockheed missile deal with Poland worth $250 million” | Polish government: Umowa na uzbrojenie do F-16 | Reuters, “Polish attack helicopter tender attracts four potential bidders”.
Oct 22/14: Poland – and Russia. Russian Air Force commander Gen. Viktor Bondarev, announces that Russia’s airbase in Belarus will be located in Babruysk by 2016. That’s almost 250 km east of, and a year later than, earlier reports that Russia would be a joint tenant at Baranovichi AB by 2015. Babyrusk will begin with 24 modernized Russian Su-27M3 fighters, which will provide depth behind the RBAADF’s SU-27P/UBs and MiG-29(U)BMs at Baranovichi.
Defence analyst, Alexander Alesin is quoted as saying that the new location will be “harder to reach by the cruise missiles which are to be acquired by the Polish Air Force.” That’s certainly true, and it also keeps a Russian base off of Belarus’ territory before their 2015 Presidential elections. On the flip side, Babruysk gives the Russians an unused base that was once supposed to hold Tu-22 bombers, and has space for a larger and more varied Russian presence once it’s refurbished and ready. Time to order some JASSM-ERs… (q.v. Oct 4/14). Sources: Defence24, “Russian Air Base Pushed Away from the Polish Borders – JASSM is the reason”.
Oct 4/14: Poland. The 15-day period for NATO allies has expired, which green-lights Poland’s JASSM request (q.v. Sept 19/14). At the same time, the cost has become somewhat controversial. Up to $500 million for 40 missiles and F-16 upgrade bundle seems like a lot beside Finland’s $225 million public request for 70 JASSM missiles – but Finland ordered about $400 million in F/A-18C/D MLU3 fighter upgrades separately.
Poland is apparently interested in buying more missiles once the F-16 fleet’s OFP 6.5 fighter software upgrade is done, including AGM-158B JASSM-ER missiles that will extend their strike range even further. Meanwhile, Russia is beginning to introduce S-400 advanced anti-aircraft missile systems, whose 400 km range could cover much of Poland if they’re forward-based in Belarus. Source: US Embassy in Warsaw.
Orders: USA, Poland; Australia’s ANAO report, as JASSM acquisition wraps up; Polish request changes Russian basing decisions.
Sept 30/14: Support. Lockheed Martin in Orlando, FL receives a $100 million sole-source indefinite-delivery/ indefinite-quantity contract for JASSM system upgrades, integration, sustainment, management and logistical support from FY 2015 – 2019.
Work will be performed at Orlando, FL, and is expected to be complete by Sept 29/19. This award is the result of sole-source acquisition. The USAF Life Cycle Management Center at Eglin AFB, FL, manages the contract (FA8682-14-D-0029).
Sept 24/14: Upgrades. Lockheed Martin Missile and Fire Control in Orlando, FL receives a $9.1 million sole-source, cost-plus-fixed-fee contract for Subminiature Flight Safety System integration onto JASSM. The contract covers all activities necessary to design, develop and qualify an SFSS demonstration unit via ground, captive-carry and flight tests. $8 million is committed immediately, using FY 2013 & 2014 USAF RDT&E budgets.
Work will be performed at Orlando, FL, and is expected to be complete by March 24/18. the USAF Life Cycle Management Center’s Armament Directorate, Advanced Programs Division, at Eglin AFB, FL manages the contract (FA8677-14-C-0137).
Sept 19/14: Support. Lockheed Martin Information Systems & Global Solutions in King of Prussia, PA receives a $7 million sole-source, cost-plus-fixed-fee contract for JASSM software maintenance; specifically, improvements to JASSM Enterprise Management System (JEMS) Phase 3B. All funds are committed immediately, using FY 2014 USAF O&M budgets.
Work will be performed at King of Prussia, PA, and is expected to be complete by Sept 14, 2015. This award is the result of a sole-source acquisition. The USAF Lifecycle Management Center at Eglin AFB, FL manages the contract (FA8682-14-C-0264).
Sept 19/14: Poland. The US DSCA officially announces that Poland’s earlier interest (q.v. May 26/14) is formalized through an export request worth up to $500 million. If a contract is concluded, the principal contractor will be F-16 and JASSM manufacturer Lockheed Martin in Ft. Worth, TX.
It could include 40 AGM-158A JASSM missiles, 4 missiles (2 of them inert) with Test Instrumentation Kit (TIK) and Flight Termination Systems (FTS) for testing, and 2 Flight Certification Test Vehicles. The Polish will also need to upgrade their F-16C/D Block 52s fleet’s core Operational Flight Plan software to M6.5 tape. so that their Modular Mission Computers (MMC) can work with JASSM.
This OFP release is specific to European F-16 fleets, adding features like Link 16 and GPS updates alongside integration with new UAI weapons like JASSM. the request also includes the usual integration, missile containers, spare and repair parts, support and test equipment, technical documentation, personnel training and related equipment, and other US government and contractor support services. Sources: US DSCA #14-44 | USAF FY15 budget for F-16 squadrons.
DSCA: Poland (40 + fighter upgrades)
May 28/14: Australia. Australia’s DoD announces that Project AIR 5418 has achieved Final Operational Capability (FOC) with the AGM-158A Joint Air-to-Surface Stand-Off Missile (JASSM), which closes out the acquisition program. That’s a bit past the recent target date of September 2013, but Australia’s JASSM program has been consistently late due to unforseen difficulties. For full coverage, see “Australia Chooses JASSM Missiles on F-18s for Long-Range Strike.”
May 26/14: Poland. Deputy Defence Minister Czeslaw Mroczek says that Poland will accelerate some planned arms buys, changing their PLN 131.4 billion (about $43.1 billion) “Technical Modernisation Programme 2013-2022″ in response to the Ukrainian situation. One of the changes involves JASSM missiles for its F-16C/D fleet. Sources: IHS Jane’s Defence Weekly, “Poland to accelerate arms programmes”.
March 4/14: FY15 Budget. The USAF and USN unveil their preliminary budget request briefings. They aren’t precise, but they do offer planned purchase numbers for key programs between FY 2014 – 2019.
The FY 2014 USAF budget included a total of 187 JASSMs for about $271 million, while the FY 2015 request includes a total of 224 for about $337 million. That’s where the USAF’s briefing window ends, but the Navy’s brief introduces low-rate production of the LRASM derivative later on: 30 in 2017, 40 in 2018, and 40 in 2019. Source: USN, PB15 Press Briefing [PDF] | USAF, Fiscal Year 2015 Budget Overview.
Feb 27/14: Industrial. Lockheed Martin breaks ground on a 62,000 square foot annex to its Pike County Operations’ Long Range Strike Systems cruise missile production facility in Troy, AL. When it’s complete, the facility will have expanded its existing space by 67%. The annex is supposed to be done by Q1 2015.
The Pike County facility builds JASSM missiles, and also produces test missiles for the Long Range Anti-Ship Missile (LRASM) development program. While there is foreign interest in JASSM, an expansion of this magnitude suggests that the firm expects LRASM/OASuW to become a program in its own right. Sources: Lockheed Martin, “Lockheed Martin Breaks Ground on New Cruise Missile Annex at Award Winning Facility in Alabama”.
Feb 26/14: Upgrades. Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control in Orlando, FL receives a sole-source $10.2 million cost-plus-fixed-fee contract modification. The contract pays them to develop JASSM’s anti-jam GPS receiver, with Selective Availability Anti-Spoofing Module Version 3 (JAGR-S V3), and exercises options for a V3 Qualification Failure Review Board (FRB), V3 Flight Test FRB, and Transit Case Assembly.
All funds are committed immediately, using FY 2014 missile procurement budgets. Work will be performed at Orlando, FL, and Troy, AL, and is expected to be completed by Dec 31/16. The USAF Life Cycle Management Center/EBJK at Eglin AFB, FL manages the contract (FA8682-12-C-0006, PO 0017).
Dec 19/13: FY 2013 – 2014. Lockheed Martin receives 2 sole-source contracts worth a total of $449 million, for a total of 410 missiles: 310 AGM-158 JASSM baseline, and 100 AGM-158B JASSM-ERs. Both contracts will also implement a redesign of the JASSM-ER’s Avionics Bulkhead, as shared-savings “Value Engineering Change Proposal”, and contracts Lockheed Martin to act as the designer and manage electronics obsolescence. For the military, that doesn’t mean slow chips, it means items that aren’t being manufactured any more. Management can involve laying in a large stock of spares, improving the supply chain, or redesigning the missile to use newer technology that is in production. Work will be performed at Orlando, FL, and Troy, AL, and expected to be completed by Nov 30/16. The USAF’s Life Cycle Management Center/ EBJK at Eglin Air Force Base, FL manages these contracts.
A $232.5 million firm-fixed price and cost-plus-fixed-fee contract will provide 190 JASSM baseline missiles and 40 JASSM-ER missile, plus systems engineering, foreign military sales test assets, etc. All funds are committed immediately, using USAF FY 2013-2014 missile procurement budgets, and about $7 million (3%) that involves foreign military sales for Finland and Australia (FA8682-14-C-0069).
A $216.5 million firm-fixed-price and cost-plus-fixed-fee contract buys 150 JASSM and 60 JASSM-ER missiles for the USAF, plus the items common to both contracts as noted above. All funds are committed immediately, using USAF FY 2013-2014 missile procurement budgets (FA8682-14-C-0084).
Lot 11 & 12 contracts
Dec 17/13: ANAO Report. Australia’s National Audit Office releases their 2012-13 Major Projects Report. JASSM falls under Project AIR 5418, Phase 1, otherwise known as the Follow On Stand Off Weapon (FOSOW) program. Australia retired its long-range FB-111 fighter-bombers in 2011, and picked the AGM-158 to give its modernized F/A-18AM/BM Hornets some extra strike reach. It doesn’t fully compensate, but it helps. The missiles were also supposed to have anti-ship capabilities, but when the USAF dropped funding for that capability, Australia had to follow suit in mid-2010. Initial Operational Capability was about 2 years late, arriving in 2011 instead of 2009.
The program is mostly complete, with expected delivery of all purchases and close-out of the program in September 2013. Two live test firings occurred in mid-2013, and explosive ordnance storage facilities are available to meet all storage requirements. Initial inspections had yanked the facilities’ Explosive Limit Licenses due to design shortcomings, but Australia found alternative temporary storage facilities during the rectification gap.
Finnish integration contract; Missiles shifted from JASSM to JASSM-ER.
July 15/13: Sub-contractors. ITT Exelis announces a contract “in excess of $10 million” to produce JASSM and JASSM-ER composite missile bodies and structures, as part of Production Lot 10 (FY 2012). Deliveries for this order will be completed by June 2014.
Their Salt Lake City, Utah facility uses braiding, resin transfer mold, and vacuum-assisted resin transfer molding to produce the complex structures, and the release says that they have built more than 1,500 missile bodies and structures so far. ITT Exelis.
June 14/13: Australia & Finland. A $9.9 million delivery order for JASSM Common Unique Planning Component software, on behalf of Australia and Finland.
Work will be performed at Orlando, FL, and is expected to be complete by June 2/15. All funds are committed immediately by USAF Life Cycle Management Center/EBJK at Eglin AFB, FL manages the contract on behalf of their clients (FA8682-11-D-0155, #0030).
June 10/13: Finland. Lockheed Martin announces a follow-on a $34.2 million contract to integrate JASSM with Finnish Hornets. It’s the 2nd contract (q.v. Dec 3/12) in a 6-year integration, production and sustainment effort.
Airworthiness activities will occur at NAS Patuxent River, MD, followed by flight testing at the Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division in China Lake, CA.
May 31/13: Finland. A $34.2 million contract modification for initial development of the Precision Targeting Module software package brings total funds committed to $39.3 million to provide key items for Finland, upgrade and expand Pike County Operations at the JASSM AUR building, and provide general JASSM systems engineering services. Deliverables for Finland include 1 containerized instrumented JASSM test vehicle, 1 containerized Jettison test vehicle, 2 containerized separation test vehicles, 2 containerized mass simulation vehicles, global positioning systems controlled radiation pattern antennas, 1 weapon support simulator consisting of a system support simulator and transit case assembly, and tooling, along with various forms of support (FA8682-11-D-0155, #0022 modification 04).
Work will be performed at Orlando, FL and Troy, AL, and is expected to be complete by Jan 31/16. USAF Life Cycle Management Center/EBJK at Eglin Air Force Base, FL manages the contract.
May 24/13: SAR. The Pentagon finally releases its Dec 31/12 Selected Acquisitions Report [PDF]. Both programs are mentioned, as the USAF shift 447 missiles out of the standard variant and into the JASSM-ER program:
“JASSM Baseline – Subprogram costs decreased $641.5 million (-18.0%) from $3,555.6 million to $2,914.1 million, due primarily to a quantity reduction of 447 missiles from 2,400 to 1,953 missiles (-$313.0 million) and associated schedule, engineering, and estimating allocations (-$198.0 million). There were additional decreases related to the movement of all support requirements from the JASSM Baseline subprogram to the JASSM-Extended Range (ER) subprogram starting in FY 2017, since the JASSM Baseline program ends in FY 2016 (-$210.9 million). These decreases were partially offset by the reallocation of development work from the JASSM-ER subprogram to the JASSM Baseline subprogram (+$48.9 million).
JASSM-ER – Subprogram costs increased $653.6 million (+17.4%) from $3,750.5 million to $4,404.1 million, due primarily to a quantity increase of 447 missiles from 2,500 to 2,947 missiles (+$436.6 million) and associated schedule, engineering, and estimating allocations (+$108.1 million). There were additional increases in support, since the JASSM program will transition to an all JASSM-ER missile in FY 2017. All support funding from the JASSM Baseline program transitioned to the JASSM-ER program between FY 2017 to FY 2035 (+$193.5 million).”
SAR – switch from JASSM to ER variant
April 19/13: Exports. The Pentagon announces potential deals for “standoff weapons [that]… can navigate to their targets and are more precise and can be fired at further distances.”
Saudi Arabia and the UAE will still require DSCA notifications, and then negotiated contracts, before any weapons head their way. While it’s possible that the announcement is referring to weapons like the GBU-39 SDB-I or AGM-154C-1 JSOW glide bombs, the announcement seems to be tipped toward JASSM as the true standoff weapon of the trio. The irony is that it was the USA’s initial refusal to let UAE F-16E/Fs carry JASSMs that pushed the UAE to modify their Mirage fleet to Mirage 2000-9 status, and equip them with “Black Shaheen” derivatives of MBDA’s competing Storm Shadow. US DoD.
March 28/13: GAO Report. The US GAO tables its “Assessments of Selected Weapon Programs“. Which is actually a review for 2012, plus time to compile and publish.
“According to the program office, they successfully completed [JASSM-ER] operational testing in October 2012 with initial results indicating the missiles achieved a direct hit on 16 out of 16 targets. Program officials stated since 2006, JASSM-ER successfully performed 26 out of 27 flight tests, including developmental, integrated, and operational testing.”
Overall, the technologies are judged to be mature and the program is fairly stable, but it’s still assessed as a moderate risk. The internal oil leak was fixed, and program officials say that the issue with metal shavings in the oil have also been resolved with engine retrofits. Fuzes have been a problem in the past, and that has created production shortages. The program intends to move to an electronic safe and arm fuze that can be tested without destroying it, but the fact that smaller issues keep cropping up, and that fuze supply is an issue, pushes the program into moderate risk.
Dec 3/12: Finland. Lockheed Martin announces a $5.1 million initial contract to support integration of the AGM-158 JASSM onto Finnish Air Force (FiAF) F-18C/D Hornets. It’s the 1st phase of a 6-year software development and aircraft integration support program, with additional contract awards expected for the remaining phases of integration support, missile procurement and post-production support. For convenience and economies of scale, the award aligns with the FY 2012 JASSM Production Lot 10 procurement contract.
Finland becomes the 2nd international customer for JASSM, whose integration will coincide with the FiAF’s F/A-18 Mid-Life Two upgrades. The U.S. Navy will lead the integration effort in coordination with the U.S. Air Force, Lockheed Martin and the FiAF. Integration activities will take place at the Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division in China Lake, CA.
JASSM-ER successfully completes Initial Operational Test and Evaluation (IOT&E). The missile is later recognized as “operationally effective and suitable” by the Pentagon’s DOTE office, with the caveat that Lot 8+ production missiles haven’t been tested yet. Source: DOTE FY13 report [PDF].
Lot 10 order; 5-year support deal; Requests – Finland; Done testing with B-1B bomber; F-15E integration 1st with UAI; Off the concern list in Australia.
Aug 9/12: The USAF says that the 337th Test and Evaluation Squadron is scheduled to complete JASSM-ER’s final phase of operational testing with its “threshold” B-1B platform on Aug 30/12. USAF Capt. Philip Atkinson adds that:
“One of the emphasis items is to be able to operate in contested and degraded environments… and we have demonstrated the ability to operate with intense GPS jamming. Even without GPS, the JASSM can find its target due to its internal sensor.”
July 26/12: F-15E integration. Lockheed Martin announces that its AGM-158 JASSM has completed F-15E platform integration, following a successful all-up round (AUR) launch test at White Sands Missile Range, NM. This marked the 1st time that any missile, has been integrated onto a platform using the new Universal Armament Interface (UAI).
June 28/12: JASSM Lot 10. Lockheed Martin announces a $241.6 million contract for Lot 10 production of 221 AGM-158 JASSM family missiles. It includes 190 AGM-158 JASSM missiles, plus 30 missiles in the 2nd year of low-rate initial production for the AGM-158B Extended Range JASSM-ER variant. The contract also buys Test Instrumentation Kits and systems engineering support.
The missiles are produced at the company’s Shingo award-winning manufacturing facility in Troy, AL. to date, Lockheed Martin says they’ve has assembled more than 1,100 JASSMs for testing and operational use, toward a total objective of 4,900 JASSM and JASSM-ER missiles.
The release adds an update re: “January  certification of JASSM on the Royal Australian Air Force F/A-18 and successful integration on the U.S. Air Force F-15E.”
Lot 10 contract
March 30/12: SAR. The Pentagon releases its report, and JASSM-ER is highlighted for a good news reason:
“Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile-Extended Range (JASSM-ER) – Program costs decreased $637.0 million (-14.5%) from $4,387.5 million to $3,750.5 million, due primarily to an acceleration of the procurement buy profile that shortened the program by five years from FY 2028 to FY 2023 (-$726.0 million), offset by the application of revised escalation indices (+$85.0 million).”
JASSM-ER cost drop
Dec 13/11: Australia. Australia’s DoD removes JASSM from their notorious “Projects of Concern” list, and explains the rocky procurement history to date:
“This project was approved in December 2005 to acquire JASSM for deployment on Classic Hornets. The project was listed as a Project of Concern in November 2010… The JASSM project has been used as a case study for improvements in the management of major Defence projects. Lessons from the project informed the Government’s response to the “Review of the Defence Accountability Framework” (the Black Review), which Minister Smith released in August .
In July this year, the missile was successfully tested at the Woomera Test Range in South Australia. In November  the Chief of Air Force provided service release, certifying the JASSM for use on Australia’s F/A-18 A/Bs.”
Following positive recommendations from the Airworthiness Board, AIR 5418 has also achieved Initial Operational Capability on F/A-18 mission software OFP 23X. This is 2 years later than the original December 2009, and ANAO attributes the delay to “delays in the AF/A-18 A/B software development and certification process, which has required extensive testing and redevelopment”. Read: “Australia Chooses JASSM Missiles on F-18s for Long-Range Strike” for full coverage.
Australia: IOC, and Off the “Projects of Concern” list
Oct 31/11: Finland request. The US DSCA finally allows Finland’s official request [PDF] for AGM-158 JASSM cruise missiles to go forward. Finland would receive 70 AGM-158 cruise missiles, 2 test vehicles, plus support and test equipment, publications and technical documentation, personnel training and training equipment, and U.S. Government and contractor support. The estimated cost is up to $255 million. Read “Finland to Buy Cruise Missiles for its Hornets” for full coverage.
June 13/11: The Pentagon announces a 5-year, $100 million support contract for Lockheed Martin’s JASSM family, and its WCMD family of GPS-guided cluster bombs. Read “$100M to Support JASSM & WCMD family Weapons, 2011-2016” for full details.
FY 2010 – 2011
Production resumes; JASSM-ER Milestone C approval; JASSM-ER production begins.
May 9/11: Lot 9 to 200. Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control in Orlando, FL receives a $45.8 million firm-fixed-price contract modification to increase the Lot 9 Joint-Air-to-Surface-Missile buy by 75 AGM-158 baseline missiles. At this point, all funding has been committed by the AAC/EBJK at Eglin Air Force Base, FL (FA8682-11-C-0001, PO 002).
In their June 1/11 teleconference, Lockheed Martin personnel said that funding under the Continuing Resolution would have meant a low number of JASSMs produced (125, vs. the Troy, AL plant’s current maximum of 360). That would have upped the price per missile, due to manufacturing inefficiencies. Once a budget passed, the USAF stepped in to remedy that by raising the order to 200, out of a maximum of 391 possible under the Lot 9 authority.
This order brings the Lot 9 contract to $208.5 million for 200 missiles (170 AGM-158, 30 AGM-158B JASSM-ER), plus warranty and continued systems engineering work. The FY 2011 budget is for $238.5 million, which also include USAF costs for testing, etc. Lot 9 brings the contracted total over the years to more than 1,300 missiles. Lockheed Martin has assembled approximately 1,100 JASSMs for testing and operational use at its Troy, AL facility, towards its total objective of 4,900 missiles. The USAF’s objective reportedly sits at 3,700 missiles, but that could change. See also Orlando Sentinel.
April 4/11: Lockheed Martin Corp., of Orlando, FL receives a $162.7 million firm fixed price Lot 9 production contract for approximately 95 JASSM and 30 JASSM-ER missiles, which also includes warranty, systems engineering, and test support.
According to Lockheed Martin personnel, some of the JASSM “systems engineering” efforts underway include reliability & producibility upgrades for the current fuze, as they try to automate some of the steps in its rather involved manufacturing. A new fuze type has been discussed, but isn’t funded in Lot 9. Lockheed Martin also acknowledged USAF interest in modifying JASSM to strike ships within the near future, though the technical approach for that isn’t set yet. Raytheon’s AGM-154C-1 JSOW Block III glide bomb has already made this transition for the Navy.
Officially, work will be performed at Orlando, FL, which is HQ for the firm’s Missiles and Fire Control division. In practice, the missiles are assembled at the firm’s Troy, AL facility, though about 135 Orlando jobs are tied to JASSM work, along with more than 2 dozen jobs at Lockheed Martin’s military electronics plant in Ocala, FL. The AAC/EBJK at Eglin Air Force Base, FL, manages this contract (FA8682-11-C-0001).
Feb 28/11: Australia. A Letter of Certification re: JASSM’s integration with Australia’s F/A-18AM/BM Hornets running OFP 23X mission software is issued by the USN. Interesting ANAO lesson learned from the experience: “Interface Control Documents are not always correct or may not have been interpreted correctly during host platform design.” Source: ANAO 2012–13 Major Projects Report.
January 2011: JASSM-ER Milestone C/LRIP. The US Defense Acquisition Board issues Milestone C authorization go-ahead for JASSM-ER to,allowing it to proceed into Low Rate Initial Production (LRIP), after the missile went 10 for 11 (91%, goal 80%) against a variety of targets and mission objectives. Source.
Feb 4/10: Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control in Orlando, FL receives a $245 million contract to produce 160 AGM-158 Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missiles (JASSM). The contract includes both baseline and extended range missiles to support the US Air Force and Foreign Military Sales customers.
Lot 8 includes up to 391 JASSMs and JASSM-Extended Range systems. The 308th Armament Systems Group at Eglin Air Force Base is the contracting activity (FA8682-10-C-0016). FBO.gov | Lockheed Martin release.
Dec 22/09: The USAF issues FedBizOpps pre-solicitation #FA8682-11-C-0001, “JASSM Lot 9 Production”:
“The 308th Armament Systems Group plans to award a sole source contract to Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control-Orlando… The proposed contract covers JASSM production Lot 9 for the Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missiles (JASSM) , FMS, and/or Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missiles-Extended Range (JASSM-ER) systems. Also included are Systems Engineering, Telemetry Instrumentation Kits (TIKs); Operational Safety, Suitability and Effectiveness (OSS&E). The Lot 9 quantity of up to 391 units will be authorized in first or second quarter of fiscal year 2011… Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control, Orlando FL is the only known source to meet the government’s requirement under the SPS… Direct any questions to 676 ARSS, Attn: Bridget Smith, Contracting Officer, 205 West D Ave Ste 632, Eglin AFB, FL…”
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- Lockheed Martin – JASSM. See also JASSM brochure [PDF].
- DID – Australia Chooses JASSM Missiles on F-18s for Long-Range Strike.
- DID – Stealthy JASSM Cruise Missiles for Finland’s Hornets. The Finns were initially rebuffed, but eventually became JASSM’s 2nd export customer.
- Finnish Institute for International Affairs (Sept 13/12) – Not just another arms deal: The security policy implications of the United States selling advanced missiles to Finland.
- Arms Control Wonk (May 31/11) – Storm Shadow, Saudi & the MTCR. The author is hostile to the military generally, but the Missile Technology Control Regime will also come into play for JASSM-ER.
- DID – LRASM Missiles: Reaching for a Long-Range Punch. A JASSM-ER derivative is the R&D program’s centerpiece, and could position JASSM as the replacement for America’s ubiquitous Harpoon anti-ship missile.
- DID – USA Issues JSOW Block III Production Contracts. Raytheon’s less-expensive JSOW glide bomb has a solid international customer base, and a new JSOW-ER variant turns it into a powered missile with a 150 mile range.
- DID – Kongsberg’s New NSM/JSM Anti-Ship & Strike Missile. Potential future competitor for JASSM.
- RAF – CASOM/ Storm Shadow.
- MBDA – MdCN.
- Missile Threat – SCALP EG/Storm Shadow/Black Shaheen.
- Missile Threat – SCALP Naval/ MdCN.