UPI & The JASSM Debate

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(click to view full) DID has covered the stealthy AGM-158 Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missiles (JASSM) cruise missile’s key characteristics and development troubles. The February 2006 article “Breakup, Interrupted: JASSM Missile Back on Track” noted its 2006 budgetary allocations, and a subsequent article covered the regional military implications of JASSM’s winning Australia’s future strike missile competition. Despite its status as the program that got the Universal Armament Interface started, ongoing production, and efforts to upgrade the missiles with a full 2-way targeting and reporting link and range extension from 200 to 500 miles, the JASSM program remains troubled by very low test success scores that imperil its existence. Over 11 years of development, problems have arisen with its engine, warhead, power, electrical and other systems. Spring 2007 tests demonstrated guidance and detonation failures, testing success rates since December 2006 are reportedly just 58%, and the program has been reported to Congress for cost breaches. Now a related and rather public controversy has boiled over, thanks to a United Press International article by Theodore Gaillard. Gaillard’s piece cites testing and reliability issues with the missile, but it also goes a step further and argues that JASSM is the wrong concept. In response, […]

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