The 2,000 pound AGM-158 JASSM is intended to be a stealthy, inexpensive GPS/IIR (Global Positioning system/ Imaging InfraRed) guided cruise missile that lets American aircraft attack well-defended targets – without putting them 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, but test results have allowed the USAF to move forward with FY 2011’s Lot 9 on schedule – including the 1st production orders for a new variant.